Sussex County News
Sussex County, Delaware
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State of Emergency remains in effect
Gov. Jack Markell has ordered the driving restrictions for Kent and Sussex counties to be lifted as of 6 p.m. tonight. However, the State of Emergency will remain in effect for the entire state until further notice. Earlier today, the governor and emergency officials lifted driving restrictions in New Castle County.
After taking a beating from last weekend’s blizzard that dumped as much as 15.6 inches of snow on the area and piled it high with strong winds, early this week residents of coastal Delaware were preparing for the onslaught of a second major winter storm in less than a week – this one a nor’easter expected to bring even more snow and strong winds.
Reductions in state funding for paramedics are of increasing concern for county officials as the cost of the programs and needed expansion of service have only risen while county coffers have gotten leaner with less real estate transfer tax to fund the programs.
In the wake of one of the worst disasters the Caribbean nation of Haiti has ever experienced, local businesses and organizations are still coming together to help. From sports and games to dinners and haircuts, hundreds of locals are still reaching out a hand following the catastrophic Jan. 12 earthquake, responsible for the collapse of an estimated 20,000 commercial buildings and 225,000 residences that rendered 1.2 million people homeless and was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 200,000.
Sussex County Council members on Tuesday, Feb. 2, approved an application to be sent to the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) in an appeal for funding for the Community Development Block Grant program.
Sussex County is making available three county-owned properties in Georgetown for lease or purchase to organizations that will provide decent, safe and affordable housing to those in most in need in Sussex County. The county recently released its Request For Proposals (RFP) for the vacant houses. They will be taking applications, and a committee will then review those suggestions to make a recommendation to County Council sometime in mid-March.
Despite the impending blizzard, members of eight local law enforcement agencies and fire companies, and members of the public, gathered at the Bistro at Bear Trap Dunes on Friday, Feb. 5, for the 2010 Joshua M. Freeman Valor Awards, honoring those departments and the esteemed individuals that, through them, serve the local communities.
Kent and Sussex counties are still removing disabled and abandoned vehicles from roads on their secondary and local back roads, state officials reported Thursday afternoon, noting that the vehicles have been hampering efforts to clear roads and respond to emergencies.
It’s been said, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but don’t tell that to Nancy LaFontaine, whose local business, K-10 Dog Training, is helping solve behavioral problems in pooches and allowing owners to bond more closely with their pets.
As of 9 a.m., officials announced Thursday morning, after consultation between the Governor’s Office and state and local emergency management officials, it was decided that the State of Emergency declared by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell will remain in effect today, February 11, 2010 as will the travel ban.
[UPDATE] Due to inclement weather, all Indian River School District schools will be closed on Friday, Feb. 12. All 12-month employees will be informed of their status at a later time, officials said.
The Sussex County Emergency Operations Center late Wednesday night put out the call for additional farmers throughout the county to lend equipment and aid so fire and ambulance crews can reach residents in an emergency.
Delaware’s frigid temperatures, high winds and recent snowfalls can be difficult for the more than 40 species of wintering songbirds that share the state’s nature resources, state officials reminded the public mid-week. Their food sources – nuts, seeds and berries – are harder for these small birds to locate and reach, especially when covered with large accumulations of snow.
URGENT WEATHER ALERT: Vehicles blocking roads will be moved, those stranded in cars must clear exhaust to avoid death or injury
State officials sent out an urgent message about 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, noting that presently there are stranded and abandoned vehicles that are blocking some roads in Sussex County to the point that ambulances cannot proceed to make emergency runs. These disabled vehicles must be moved immediately in order for responders to carry out life-safety responsibilities.
A brief storm update from state officials as of 2:35 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10:
• Delmarva Power crews in Sussex County have temporarily suspended operations due to visibility problems.
Gov. Jack Markell declared a State of Emergency covering the entire state of Delaware effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, with all non-emergency vehicles ordered off the roads.
State officials were reporting nearly 14,000 electric customers still without power – mostly in Sussex County – on Monday morning, as crews from Delmarva Power and Delaware Electric Cooperative struggled to reach and repair outages from last weekend’s blizzard. Shelters in both counties remained open for those needing shelter due to a lack of power or heat.
With the National Weather Service reporting snow totals of 20 to 25 inches with drifts in Sussex County, 25 inches in New Castle County and 22 inches in Kent County from this weekend’s blizzard, a State of Emergency remained in effect at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Snow from this weekend’s blizzard had begun to taper off around 8 p.m. on Saturday night, leaving much of the state paralyzed and snowbound, and tens of thousands without power, with as many as 39,000 homes and businesses left in the dark at peak impact from the storm.
WEATHER ALERT: Snowfall tops 14 inches in Selbyville; whiteout conditions, power outages, travel prohibitions continue
A winter storm warning is in effect in the area until 7 p.m. on Saturday evening. Light to moderate snow with embedded areas of heavy snow near the Atlantic coast was occurring across the area late this afternoon, adding about 6 inches of snow in Selbyville over the course of several hours and causing whiteout conditions in some areas.
WEATHER ALERT: Snowfall tops 8 inches in coastal Sussex; non-emegency vehicles still prohibited from travel
With snow totals statewide topping 15 inches in some locations and more than 8 inches of snow in the local area, Delaware emergency officials on Saturday morning were reminding the public of the State of Emergency currently in force and the requirement that they stay off roads until further notice. Only emergency vehicles are permitted on the roads in Delaware as of 9 a.m. Saturday.
Snow is beginning to accumulate, the plows are out, and residents everywhere are settling in for a long weekend, state officials reported Friday evening as blizzard conditions hit Delaware. As of 9:30 p.m. on Friday Delaware State Police reported that there had been one injury accident and 15 crashes that involved property damage.
WEATHER ALERT: Governor declares state of emergency as area braces for 1 to 2 feet of snow, strong winds
State of Emergency declared for state as of 8 p.m., vehicles ordered off roads as of 10 p.m.
Gov. Jack Markell declared a State of Emergency covering the entire state of Delaware effective at 8 p.m. Friday, with vehicles ordered off the roads as of 10 p.m.
WEATHER ALERT: Blizzard warning in effect Friday and Saturday, up to 18 inches of snow, strong winds forecast
The National Weather Service in Mount Holly has issued a blizzard warning, which is in effect from 4 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday. The previous winter storm watch is no longer in effect.
A storm system developing over the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday will pass off the Carolina coast Friday night and then continue to the northeast on Saturday.
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Collin O’Mara announced on Wednesday, Feb. 3, that DNREC was evaluating a potential agreement with NRG that would shut down a third coal-fired electrical generating unit (Unit 3) from the Indian River Power Plant, leaving only the facility’s newest, largest and lowest-emission unit to remain in operation.