The State of Emergency in Delaware was lifted at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, by Gov. Jack Markell. But even as the state works to clean up and restore services following the back-to-back snow storms of this month, another snow event is threatening. With a possible arrival of Monday evening, the next storm could drop 8 inches or more of snow unless it shifts to a more northerly track, officials said.
Delawareans are being urged to plan for this storm, even if officials are hoping it will bypass Delaware. Individuals should take all possible precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and their property, they said. Included in those safety measures are the following:
• Remove snow from roofs, downspouts and storm drains. The weight of snow from last weekend and the amount that fell mid-week is already over-taxing structures throughout the state causing collapses of a variety of buildings, including private residences and businesses. If additional snow falls on what is already frozen and crusty, in most cases, the weight will be greater and removal more difficult. Those who can’t safely remove snow from homes, outbuildings or businesses should seek assistance. In residential areas, neighbor should help neighbor whenever possible.
• Review emergency supplies in your home. It is advisable to have three to five days of water and food at all times. When roads are impassable, these supplies will mean a lot to families. Special dietary and medicinal needs should be taken care of this weekend before snow comes again. Stocking up on pet supplies is important if you have companion animals.
• Emergency light sources are a must for everyone. Check flashlights, battery operated or crank operated, and portable radios; make sure they are in working order. If you have battery operated camping lanterns or lamps, restock batteries. Do not use candles or other open-flame light sources.
• Check your home fuel supply. Don’t wait until delivery trucks cannot access your property.
• Keep your car fueled.
• Do not drive unnecessarily, especially when it is snowing. When you drive in this winter weather, when many roads are still partially or completely snow-covered, always have a flashlight, shovel, cell phone, blanket and boots. If you stall or get stuck, stay in your vehicle and call for assistance. If your engine is running, make sure your tailpipe is not blocked by snow. Notify someone of your travels and the approximate time you should arrive.
• Have some cash on hand.
Even though the State of Emergency is lifted, DelDOT road crews and power company crews have a lot of work to do to clear roads and restore power throughout the state. The public is being urged to be aware and respectful of where these crews are working. Caution should be taken when they are plowing roads or working on the road shoulders.
Drifting snow is expected to continue to cause visibility problems and to build up on roads. Mounds of plowed snow often blocks clear sight lines at intersections and crossovers. All drivers must proceed cautiously when entering or crossing these roadways that have obstructed views.
“Public safety is the priority of the teams of state and local workers diligently working to help Delaware recover for and prepare for disruptive weather. All who live in the state need to consider themselves a vital part of this important team,” officials said.