A significant winter storm is expected to impact the region Friday night through Saturday.
A winter storm is forecast to affect much of the region tonight and Saturday. A sharp gradient to lower snowfall amounts is anticipated near or just northwest of the I-95 Corridor.
MT. HOLLY (NJ) by Digital Staff: Get ready because more snow is expected in Delaware starting tonight and moving into Saturday according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey. The latest predictions are calling for Blizzard conditions that are expected near the coast with strong wind gusts, reduced visibility and snowfall of 8 to 15 inches with northerly winds from 30 to 40 MPH with gusts around 50 MPH.
A significant winter storm is expected to impact the region Friday night through Saturday.
Heavy snow, strong winds, tidal flooding, and low wind chills are all anticipated. Wind gusts of 35-50 mph are possible area wide. The heavy snow combined with strong winds may cause blowing and drifting of snow and very low visibilities, especially near the coasts where the strongest winds are expected.
Heavy snow is anticipated at least as far inland as the I-95 Corridor with amounts generally 4 to 10 inches. Northerly wind 20 to 30 MPH with gusts around 40 MPH. Gale to storm force wind gusts on the coastal waters of New Jersey and Delaware.
Like the first snowstorm of the New Year, Sussex County is expected to get the most with 9 to 14 inches of snow by Saturday morning according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly. As for the other counties, Kent County may see 6 to 10 inches, and New Castle County may see 3 to 6 inches.
That being said, meteorologist Brian Haines emphasized that there may be “a decent-sized difference” in snowfall, even across a single county. There’s “still a lot of uncertainty out there,” Haines said, but forecasters should know more as it gets closer to the impending storm. In the meantime, Haines recommended making sure to have a winter plan in place.
“Always be prepared,” he said.
The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) said it will activate the State Emergency Operations Center starting at 9 a.m. Friday in an attempt to “coordinate the statewide response” before the snow hits. The agency reiterated anticipated high winds – which could bring with it downed trees and power lines – as well as bitterly cold temperatures, snow and some coastal flooding. Get information here on how you an make an emergency kit.
Minor coastal flooding is expected on Saturday morning along the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware. Dangerous wind chill values on Saturday night and Sunday morning, especially in the Poconos.
Minor tidal flooding also is possible with this potentially dangerous coastal storm. Property owners should prepare now by removing or securing loose objects, and residents should stock up on provisions in the event travel is not possible and power is out in the coming days.
“This is undoubtedly the most significant winter nor’easter we have faced in a number of years, and it has the potential to rank up there with the back-to-back blizzards of 2010,” Emergency Operations Center Director Joseph L. Thomas said. “The public should be mindful of the forecast, prepare accordingly, and avoid travel tonight. The last place you will want to be is stranded somewhere on a darkened road in a raging blizzard.”
Emergency planners urge the public to prepare now for the strong possibility of impossible travel, widespread power outages, downed trees, as well as some minor coastal flooding as a result of the storm. The system is forecast to spread blizzard condition from here to New England.
Travel on Friday evening through Saturday could be nearly impossible at times. Those traveling for essential or emergency purposes, however, should be prepared with basic supplies on hand, including an ice scraper, blankets, sand or cat litter, de-icer, flashlight and batteries, mobile telephone, high-calorie non-perishable food and water, and a full tank of gas.
In preparation for a severe winter storm to impact the State of Delaware, Governor John Carney on Friday issued a State of Emergency in Kent and Sussex counties, and authorized the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials with any necessary response and recovery.
Governor Carney also issued a Level 2 Driving Restriction for Kent and Sussex counties, and a Level 1 Driving Warning for New Castle County, beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, January 28.
“We are anticipating a serious storm, and Delawareans in Kent and Sussex counties should stay off the roadways when the driving restriction goes into effect tonight,” said Governor Carney. “That will help personnel from the Delaware Department of Transportation more effectively clear the roadways, and help us provide services to our neighbors most in need.”
The Level 2 Driving Restriction (Kent and Sussex counties) means that no person may operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways, except for persons designated as “essential personnel.” Travel on roadways is restricted to certain state employees, emergency workers, first responders, health care workers, utility workers, snow removal operators, private sector food and fuel deliveries, and individuals already approved through DEMA’s State of Emergency Driving Waiver program.
Learn about Delaware’s three levels of driving warnings and restrictions at de.gov/weather.
Areas of coastal Sussex County are predicted to see the most serious impact from the storm, including winds of up to 50mph, which may lead to power outages. Travel will be difficult as high winds and heavy snow will result in snow covered roads and limited visibility. If travel is necessary, extra caution and preparations should be taken, such as having a vehicle emergency supply kit.
State and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in affected areas at the expense of the vehicle owner after 10:00 p.m. on Friday, while the driving restriction in Kent and Sussex counties is in effect.
Under Delaware Code, failure to obey an Emergency Order may result in a fine of $50 to $500 and/or a prison sentence of up to six months.
The State of Emergency authorizes additional resources to assist with winter storm response. The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is coordinating the state’s response, including resources from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), Delaware State Police, Delaware Division of Public Health, and Delaware National Guard.
The DelDOT snowplow tracker will be active during the storm and is available via the DelDOT smartphone app and deldot.gov, under the interactive maps icon. Additionally, DelDOT also has more than 200 traffic cameras that are available to view road conditions around the state. Winter weather preparedness tips for home and travel can be found at PrepareDE.org.
A Code Purple has been declared across the state and shelters are opening to take in Delawareans who are experiencing homelessness. To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1. If you see someone outside who appears to be homeless, encourage them to seek emergency shelter or call a non-emergency police number to alert the police to the situation.
How to Prepare
- Make a Plan, make an emergency kit, and stay informed. Helpful tips are available at PrepareDE.org
- Ensure that you have non-perishable food, water, and medications to last for several days.
- Prepare for power outages and have a safe way to stay warm.
- Monitor the weather through the National Weather Service: weather.gov/phi
- Monitor the roads through the DelDOT App: deldot.gov/mobile
Meantime, residents and property owners should prepare themselves with basic household supplies, including extra food and water, first-aid supplies, flashlights and batteries, a battery-powered weather radio, extra prescription medicines, baby items, an emergency heat source and sufficient heating fuel.
The Sussex County Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor this situation and is working closely with other local and state governmental agencies. Additional staff are being called in to the County’s EOC and paramedic stations to be on standby and respond to issues that may arise during and after this event.
The Sussex County EOC reminds the public to only call 9-1-1 in an emergency. Members of the public who have questions regarding this information should contact the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center at (302) 855-7801.
The first snow storm of the New Year brought 1-3 inches in New Castle County. That snow storm which hit the first state on January 4, 2022, dumped 6-8 inches in Kent and Sussex Counties. Along with it came the high winds in some parts of the state, limited visibility and nasty road conditions.
The second storm struck not less than three days later and dumped 3-5 inches on January 7, 2022. The storm was primarily snow, except for portions of Sussex County, (portions of the county closer to the coast), where a wintry mix and even periods of rain occurred. Eastern and southern Sussex County saw amounts between a trace to 3 inches.
Also ahead of tonight’s storm, DART First State is announcing possible delays and cancelations in Kent and Sussex counties where the snow is expected to have the most impact.
“Due to the forecasted major winter storm, the Route 206 and Route 215 will have modified bus service. Depending on the severity of the storm, Fixed Route and Paratransit services may be delayed or canceled, particularly in Kent and Sussex Counties.,” an official said in a news release.
For more info, call 1 (800) 652-DART(3278). Download the DART Transit app for real-time bus information: https://dartfirststate.com/RiderInfo/MobileApps/index.shtml
The COVID-19 testing site at the Delaware City DMV will be cancelled this weekend from January 28-30. Appointments for this weekend will be honored tonight, Thursday, January 27. Testing will be open tonight from 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. See more testing options at de.gov/gettested.
In the city of Wilmington, Public Works Commissioner Kelly Williams said department crews have already applied brine to City streets and are ready to plow major arteries before moving on to secondary streets. Public Works will have up to 25 pieces of snow removal equipment on the streets in the coming hours and private contractors are on stand-by should snow accumulation exceed six inches. The City’s Arborist will also be on call for any tree-related issues due to snow and expected higher winds.
“As with past winter storms, all relevant Departments and Offices – Emergency Management, Public Works, Police, Fire, Parks and Recreation, and Licenses and Inspections – are prepared for the storm and will offer a coordinated City response,” Mayor Purzycki said.
More from the city: Storm updates as well as travel restrictions will be posted on the City’s website at www.WilmingtonDE.gov, Residents should call 911 for all emergencies, Residents should call 311 for any non-emergency storm-related issue or concern, Power outages should be reported to Delmarva Power, either online or by texting “OUT” to 67972 on your mobile phone.
- Private snow removal contractors are reminded that it is a violation of City law to pile accumulated snow into banks on streets or any other fashion that affects the efficiency of the City’s street-plowing operations.
- Residents are asked to pay special attention to fire hydrants in their community to ensure that hydrants are clear of snow and visible in case of an emergency.
Follow the City of Wilmington’s storm-related announcements via the City website at www.WilmingtonDE.gov and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Nextdoor via #SnowWilmDE. Citizens can also accompany the Department of Public Works’ snow trucks in real time by visiting: http://bit.ly/SnowWilmDE.
More Sources to stay up to date on conditions: For a list of road closures, visit the Delaware Department of Transportation website at www.deldot.gov. To view a map of power outages in Sussex County, visit Delmarva Power’s website at www.delmarva.com and the Delaware Electric Cooperative’s website at www.delaware.coop.
Stay tuned to local media, as well as the Sussex County website at www.sussexcountyde.gov. The public also should monitor the National Weather Service, at www.weather.gov/phi for the latest forecasts. Meantime, Sussex County offers a variety of social media outlets to relay the latest storm information. Please follow along on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SussexCountyDE, www.facebook.com/SussexCountyEOC, and www.facebook.com/SussexCountyEMS; and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sussexde_govt, www.twitter.com/SussexCtyDE_EOC, and www.twitter.com/SussexCoDE_EMS. Updates will be issued as needed.