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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Schools, town offices close as Markell declares State of Emergency for Delaware

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  • Local schools and town offices are closing offices are closing Monday, March 3 due to the impending snow storm expected to hit the area Sunday night.
    Providence Creek Academy and Smyrna School District have both closed all schools and offices tomorrow.
    Smyrna Town Manager Dave Hugg said Sunday night via email that all town offices will be closed Monday. The closures include town hall and the Smyrna Public Library. Hugg also said the Smyrna Town Council meeting scheduled for Monday night has been rescheduled for Monday, March 10.
     
    State of Emergency
    The decisions to close offices and cancel school on Monday came after Gov. Jack Markell issued a State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving warning, effective Monday, March 3 at 12 a.m.
    In addition, Gov. Markell has announced that State of Delaware offices will be closed on Monday during the regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Non-essential employees are not to report to work for this period. Essential employees are to report as scheduled.
    "Once the precipitation turns to snow, we strongly encourage drivers who do not need to travel to delay or refrain from being on the road," Markell said. "Snowfall amounts are predicted to increase rapidly as the storm progresses, which will create hazardous driving conditions. Hundreds of DelDOT crews will continue to work on clearing roads and we will continue to evaluate conditions."
    According to state law, a “Level 1 Driving Warning” means that any person operating a motor vehicle when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated shall exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle. Non-essential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle on the state's roadways when a Level 1 Driving Warning has been activated, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.
    Winter Storm Warning
    A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for all of Delaware from 9 p.m. tonight through 4 p.m. on Monday, March 3.
    Kent County is predicted to get a total of 6 to 10 inches of snow, as of 3:45 p.m. this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. There will be periods of rain before 10 p.m., the periods of sleet until 5 a.m., then periods of snow and sleet after 5 a.m. The total nighttime snow and sleet accumulation is predicted at 1 to 3 inches.
    Monday, there will be periods of snow, mainly before 3 p.m. The snow could be heavy at times. With a high near 22 degrees, there will be a north wind of 14 to 17 miles per hour. New snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches is possible.
    Page 2 of 3 - Along with the possibility of 6 to 10 inches of snow, there may be a trace of ice.  Visibility will be one-quarter mile or less at times on Monday.
    The snow and sleet will create hazardous driving conditions on Monday morning; therefore, the commute will be particularly difficult. Following the storm, the NSW states there will be near record cold weather possible late Monday night as temperatures drop to between 5 and 10 degrees above zero.
    Code Purple Shelters open across Delaware
    KENT COUNTY
    Women and children can receive Code Purple shelter and food at Shepherd Place, 1362 Governors Ave., Dover, starting Sunday, March 2, until the weather breaks. Eight cots, plus crib and bassinet are available. Doors opened at 5 p.m. for dinner. The shelter is in need of volunteers, food and meal planning, and additional supplies.
    Men can receive Code Purple shelter and food at Mt. Carmel Church, 117 N. West St., Dover, starting Sunday, March 2, until the weather breaks. Fifteen cots are available. Doors opened at 5 p.m. dinner. The shelter is in need of volunteers, food and meal planning, and additional supplies.
    For New Castle County, there are Code Purple shelters in Wilmington and Newark. For Sussex County, there are Code Purple shelters in Rehoboth Beach.
    CENTRALIZED INTAKE: HOMELESS PREVENTION RESPONSE SYSTEM
    Centralized Intake is a statewide program that provides an efficient and effective process for assessing individuals and families who are experiencing a housing crisis, identifying the most appropriate housing intervention needed to end their episode of homelessness, and referring them to crisis services and/or shelter to meet their immediate needs.
    Anyone experiencing a housing crisis is urged to call 2-1-1. The operator will ask a few questions to determine if they would benefit from prevention services in the community or if they need to be assessed by a housing specialist.
    Delaware Guard prepared to support state during winter storm
    The Delaware National Guard, in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, will preposition personnel and vehicles in all three counties tonight in preparation for the latest winter storm.
    “Current predictions call for heaviest snow in the central part of the state, but prepositioning troops and equipment throughout gives us the ability to respond wherever needed.” said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard.
    Approximately 150 soldiers and airmen are on standby and ready to be in place tonight to support the citizens of Delaware. The majority are vehicle operators and typical support missions include: transport of Delawareans to safety, transport of police and other first responders, transport of medical workers to hospitals, and assisting stranded motorists. They also can provide traffic control, access control points, and medical personnel should medical shelters be operational.
    Page 3 of 3 - The Delaware National Guard has a total of 20 HMMWV’s (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle), four LMTVs (Light Medium Tactical Vehicle), and a wrecker available immediately, and more available on call. The vehicles and personnel are located at the Stern Armory in Newport, the Smyrna Readiness Center, and our Georgetown Armory. The distribution of vehicles and personnel was determined through coordination with Delaware’s first responders.
    In addition to vehicle operators, there are command staff in each operational armory and Liaison Officers ready to support Emergency Operations Centers in all three counties and the city of Wilmington. The Delaware National Guard Joint Emergency Operations Center is manned around the clock, until the event is complete.
    On the Air National Guard Base, teams from civil engineering, maintenance and operations are on duty, clearing taxi ways and ramps to ensure we maintain the ability to launch and recover aircraft. Firefighters and security police serve 24-7.
    The Delaware National Guard has 2,750 Soldiers and Airmen. Although there are several hundred deployed overseas, they have the capability to support this snow event with as many troops as needed.

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