Ice is to blame for the widespread power outage in New Castle County.
About 7,000 residents, primarily in the Wilmington area, have been without power since early this morning.
“What we’re seeing now is truly an ice event,” said Nicholas Morici, spokesman for Delmarva Power. “It’s not as if a substation is having issues or there’s equipment failures, that’s not the case. You’re looking at ice on lines that bring the lines down, you’re looking at ice on trees that bring the trees down and of course, when those trees come down they tend to land on power lines.”
Morici said Delmarva Power has hundreds of linemen in the field and estimates that full power will be restored by late this evening.
“We’re in the field right now, working to restore those outages in the safest and quickest fashion,” he said. “But once again were fighting the element and facing the challenges of that ice and rain and we will work to restore the power in a timely manner.”
The ice toppled trees and coated the roads this morning and put many schools and businesses to open late. Outages also caused some schools and businesses to close. Lancashire Elementary School and Springer Middle School in the Brandywine School District both lost power this morning, shortly after students arrived, according to the district’s Facebook page, prompting confusion and concern among parents.
“Being in a school with no heat is not acceptable to me,” expressed one parent.
As temperatures are expected to fall during the afternoon and evening hours, Delmarva is advising those without power to head to a warmer place such as a friend or neighbor’s house until power is restored. If you decide to stay home, Morici said they advise using battery powered devices for lighting, rather than candles and make sure you’re stocked with non-perishable items and bottled water.
A real-time outage map can be found on the Delmarva Power website.