No state of emergency in Delaware, but notes of caution [video]

 A snowy road outside DelDOT facilities in Newark. (Avi Wolfman-Arent, Newsworks)

A snowy road outside DelDOT facilities in Newark. (Avi Wolfman-Arent, Newsworks)

Governor Jack Markell urged Delawareans to stay off the roads, but did not declare a state of emergency during a mid-morning storm briefing.

“The most important message for Delawareans today is to be please be cautious on the roadways,” Markell said in a press conference.

He added, “We’re constantly evaluating whether a state of emergency would be warranted, but, at this time, with schools and state offices closed many drivers are already staying off the roads and DelDOT has been able to sufficiently keep up with this storm on the primary roads.”

Thursday’s snow storm is expected to dump four-to-eight inches on the First State, despite arriving later than expected. Snow should continue through the afternoon before tapering off in the early evening. A winter storm warning is in effect until 7 pm.

Markell shuttered state offices for the day and many schools followed suit. The highest snow totals are expected in northern Delaware, with four-to-six-inches likely further south.

The worst is still on its way.

“We expect decreasing temperatures and increasing precipitation through the afternoon,” Markell said.

Markell said there will be a code purple for Thursday and Friday nights in New Castle County, meaning sanctuary sites will be open to the homeless. They will be the 37th and 38th such nights this winter, according to Markell.

 Because Thursday’s storm was preceded by significant rainfall, DelDOT was not able to pre-treat road surfaces. Officials said they began salting in earnest when snowfall began Thursday morning.

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