Winter storm warning, driving restrictions and snow: What you need to know about the storm

·4 min read

It's no bomb cyclone, but parts of Delaware will likely get hit with almost a foot of snow this weekend courtesy of the nor'easter making its way to the East Coast.

The storm is expected to reach Delaware on Friday evening, with snow piling up overnight and into Saturday morning.

Gov. John Carney has issued a state of emergency in Kent and Sussex counties ahead of the storm. This authorizes members of the National Guard to help with storm response and recovery, and restricts driving privileges for non-emergency personnel beginning Friday at 10 p.m.

A bicyclist rolls through the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and N. Van Buren Street as snow falls in Wilmington early Friday evening, Jan. 28, 2022.
A bicyclist rolls through the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and N. Van Buren Street as snow falls in Wilmington early Friday evening, Jan. 28, 2022.

These driving restrictions will allow the Department of Transportation to better clear the roadways and help "provide services to our neighbors most in need," Carney said in a statement. Anyone who fails to follow the restrictions may be fined up to $500 or sentenced to time in prison.

Those in New Castle County were encouraged to avoid the roads, as well.

A Code Purple has also been declared statewide, and shelters are opening to help those experiencing homelessness find somewhere safe to wait out the storm. Anyone in need of these emergency resources should dial 2-1-1.

Like January's first major snowstorm, the beaches will likely get hit the hardest. As of Friday morning, the entire state was slated to go under a winter storm warning beginning at 7 p.m. Friday until 3 p.m. Saturday.

Blizzard conditions are also predicted for the Delaware beaches, according to the National Weather Service's latest briefing Friday morning. With that comes warnings of power outages, snow accumulation of up to 15 inches and low visibility.

Sussex County is predicted to see 9-14 inches of snow by Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

National forecast: Potent 'bomb cyclone' to lash Northeast this weekend with heavy snow, howling winds

New Castle County will likely see 3-6 inches of snow, meteorologists predicted, and Kent County could see 6-10, though Friday morning's latest forecast showed the possibility of sharp variants across counties and potentially more snow than originally predicted.

Temperatures will stay below freezing through the weekend, and wind gusts could reach 35 mph, making driving conditions hazardous. Wind chills in parts of the state are expected to fall well below zero, as well.

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.

Snow preparedness: Delaware agency says trust the 'cool people' on weekend snow

Haines said his winter plan always includes a flashlight and extra batteries in case a storm knocks out power.

Other recommended items include non-perishable food and water, cellphone power banks and blankets, according to the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. A guide to making an emergency kit and plan is available on the agency's website at www.preparede.org/make-a-kit.

The agency 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.

Making an emergency kit?

Here's what the Delaware Emergency Management Agency recommends.

  • Ensure you have emergency supplies ahead of the storm, including non-perishable food and water, and make sure you have enough for every member of your family (including pets!) to last at least three days.

  • Make sure you have any needed medications and medical equipment.

  • Stock an emergency kit in your car, too.

  • Get flashlights and extra batteries in case of power outages.

  • Keep warm layers and blankets nearby in case the power goes out.

Closures and delays:

New Castle County:

  • All roads in New Castle County will be restricted to travel other than for people with "significant health, safety or business reasons."

  • All New Castle County libraries will open at noon on Saturday.

  • Garfield Park and Hockessin recreation centers, Carousel Park and Rockwood Park and Museum will be closed Saturday.

Kent County:

  • All roads in Kent County will be restricted to designated "emergency personnel."

  • The Kent County Public Library will be closed until Monday.

  • The Kent County Recreation Center will be closed on Saturday, with the potential to remain closed longer depending on the weather.

  • All Kent County parks will close Friday at dusk and reopen on Monday.

Sussex County:

  • All roads in Sussex County will be restricted to designated "emergency personnel."

  • The Riverwalk in Milford will be closed to pedestrians until further notice.

  • All Milford recreation programs scheduled for Saturday are cancelled, and a decision about Sunday's programs will be posted online later.

Send story tips or ideas to Hannah Edelman at hedelman@delawareonline.com. For more reporting, follow them on Twitter at @h_edelman.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: More snow coming to Delaware Friday night, 14 inches in Sussex

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