Delaware Institutes Level One Driving Warning as Sandy Approaches
Motorists Encouraged to Stay Off Roads for Non-Emergency Reasons
- State Offices will Be Closed on Monday -
Smyrna, DE – Hurricane Sandy’s approach will make Delaware’s roadways more dangerous, leading Governor Jack Markell to implement a statewide “Level One Driving Warning,” which encourages motorists to cease any non-emergency travel beginning at 8:00 pm tonight.
“The storm is getting closer, the roads more dangerous and the need for caution greater. If there’s not a critical need for you to be on the roads, stay off of them,” Markell said. “I encourage employers to think seriously about following the state’s lead and allowing non-essential employees to remain home tomorrow. Emergency personnel are working hard to meet the storm’s challenge. Don’t give them the extra work of needing to come to your rescue,” Markell said.
Governor Markell signed legislation in 2010 giving the state greater flexibility to increase public safety by limiting travel during times of emergency. The three levels are:
· Level One Driving Warning: Drivers are discouraged from operating a motor vehicle on the state's roadways, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.
· Level Two Driving Restriction: Travel on the roads is restricted to emergency workers, public utilities, healthcare providers including hospital staff, private sector food and fuel deliveries, and those industries, companies or organization that have been provided a waiver, including businesses with pressing continuity and operational issues.
· Level Three Driving Ban: Complete ban on driving except for first responders, and utility personnel. Businesses and organizations should adjust work schedules so that employees do not need to be on the roads during a Level 3 Driving Ban.
The state will continue to monitor the storm’s progress to determine if a heightened driving restriction is required tomorrow afternoon as the storm’s center moves closer to Delaware.
By 8:00 pm this evening, the 24-hour mandatory evacuation period in flood prone areas the Governor ordered last night should be completed. All residents should be gone and all businesses closed within those evacuation areas.
Recommended evacuation routes can be found at http://deldot.gov/information/projects/tmt/evac_map.shtml. Please note that it is recommended that those in Sussex ocean communities south of the Indian River Inlet travel west along major arteries (Routes 26 and 54) to U.S. 113 to leave the area rather than north on Route 1
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has already closed State Route 1 between Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach due to high water levels on the roadway. The alternate evacuation route for those affected by the closure is travel west on DE54/DE20 to U.S. 113 northbound, or on DE24 to U.S. 113 southbound. Drivers can also travel west on DE26 to U.S. 113 northbound. DelDOT also suspended tolls on SR 1 as to noon on Sunday, October 28th.
Additionally, transportation officials in Maryland advise that the westbound U.S. 50 bridge over U.S. 301 is restricted to one lane, due to construction. Maryland officials advise avoiding that route to avoid lengthy backups.
MODIFICATION OF THE DECLARATION OF
A STATE OF EMERGENCY
FOR THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND
LEVEL 1 DRIVING WARNING
WHEREAS, Hurricane Sandy has already begun to bring high winds, heavy and sustained rainfall, high tides, and coastal flooding to Delaware, and threatens to bring more of the same over the next 36 to 48 hours; and
WHEREAS, the arrival of Hurricane Sandy is likely to bring winds gusting up to 75 miles per hour and several inches of rain, resulting in downed trees, flooding, and other road hazards that make driving dangerous and creating potentially life-threatening conditions; and
WHEREAS, the predicted weather conditions will create dangerous and potentially life-threatening road conditions and may result in additional public safety responses;
WHEREAS, I issued an Executive Order at 5:00 p.m. on October 27, 2012 declaring a State of Emergency for New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties and ordering a mandatory evacuation of specified low-lying and coastal areas; and
WHEREAS, I issued a modification to that Executive Order at 11:30 a.m. on October 28, 2012, requiring that businesses within the evacuation areas close by 6:00 p.m. today; and
WHEREAS, based upon evidence presented to me by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (“DEMA”), I have found that the emergency in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties is continuing.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare that the previously issued executive orders shall remain in effect until further notice, with the following modifications:
1. As of 8:00 p.m. today, October 28, 2012, and until further notice, a Level 1 Driving Warning is in effect for the State of Delaware. Any person operating a motor vehicle shall exercise extra caution in the operation of that vehicle for the duration of the emergency. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle for the duration of the emergency, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so. State and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in affected areas at the expense of the vehicle owner.
2. The mandatory evacuation of all persons located in the areas shown on the attached Exhibit A (“Evacuation Areas”) shall continue. All persons located in the Evacuation Areas are urged to complete such evacuation as soon as possible, but no later than Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
3. All persons are advised that they should not enter the Evacuation Areas unless necessary to support the evacuation.
4. All businesses located within the Evacuation Areas shall close on or before 6:00 p.m. today, Sunday, October 28, and shall remain closed until further notice. First responders, medical services and other essential personnel, food and fuel deliveries, members of the media, public utilities and other businesses necessary to maintaining the health and safety of the people in Delaware are exempted from this requirement.
5. All persons, including both residents and non-residents, located in flood-prone areas, including around rivers and streams, should exercise caution and are urged to consider evacuating to higher ground as necessary to preserve health and safety.
6. I hereby reserve the right to add areas to the Evacuation Areas and otherwise modify the scope of the evacuation without further written order. The list of designated evacuation areas and shelters shall be maintained by DEMA and posted to the DEMA website.
7. I hereby reserve the right to take, or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.
Approved this 28th day of October, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. ET
In accordance with Paragraph 1 of this Order, persons located in the following areas (“Evacuation Areas”) are subject to mandatory evacuation. All such persons shall be evacuated as soon as possible, but no later than Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
Sussex County Delaware Bay Communities
Prime Hook Beach
Lewes Beach, east of the Rehoboth Lewes canal
Sussex County Ocean Coastal Communities
Flood-prone areas within ¾ of a mile of the coast in the following communities:
Sussex County Inland Bay Communities
Areas surrounding the Rehoboth Bay, Indian River and Little Assawoman Bay
Flood-prone areas south of Route 24 (John J. Williams Highway) including Angola, Long Neck and Oak Orchard
Flood-prone areas along Route 26 (Vines Creek Road and Atlantic Avenue)
Flood-prone areas along Route 54 (Lighthouse Road)
Sussex County Western Communities
Flood-prone areas in close proximity to the Nanticoke and Broad Creek Rivers
Pickering Beach, including any homes east of 799 Pickering Beach Rd.
Kitts Hummock Beach, and all addresses above 2123 Kitts Hummock Rd.
Bowers Beach, including any homes east of Old Bowers Rd.
South Bowers Beach
Big Stone Beach
Port Mahon Rd., any address above 900
New Castle County
New Castle County, City of New Castle:
Washington Park Subdivision
From the Delaware River to Fourth Street
Penn Valley subdivision
New Castle County, City of Delaware City:
All houses east of Second Street
The 100 block of Fifth Street
All of Delaware City Mobile Home Park
All of Polktown
Other New Castle County Coastal Communities:
Town of Port Penn
Any residences South of Augustine Beach and East of Silver Run Road/Route 9