Governor Jack Markell has expanded his executive order that declared a state of emergency for Delaware to include a requirement that businesses in mandatory evacuation zones must now be closed by 6 pm this evening.
The mandatory evacuation period for coastal communities in Sussex, Kent and New Castle counties, and a flood-prone area in western Sussex County began last night at 8:00 pm and must be completed by 8:00 p.m. this evening.
“This storm is severe and its potential damages significant. It is critical that residents in areas of greatest risk leave those areas now before the storm’s full force is felt and lives are put at greater risk,” said Markell, who spent the day with emergency responders and state workers at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and in flood-prone areas.
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.
– Driving conditions are expected to become hazardous in some areas as the storm progress Sunday night into Monday. Driving restrictions or bans, should they become necessary, will be announced as conditions worsen.
– Please note that due to the closure of Route 1 this morning at the Indian River Bridge due to water on the roadway, those in Sussex ocean communities south of the Indian River Inlet cannot leave the area travelling north on Route 1. 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. All recommended evacuation routes can be found at http://deldot.gov/information/projects/tmt/evac_map.shtml.
– Multiple roads and streets are being closed in Sussex for water on the road. Updated list at http://deldot.net/public.ejs?command=PublicTrafficReportDisplay
– DelDOT suspended tolls on SR 1 as of noon on Sunday, October 28th.
– Emergency officials are notifying residents, especially those evacuation, that should a neighborhood or area suffer extensive damage during the storm, home and owners will likely need proof of ownership of a home, second home or business to return to the area after the storm passes.
– Emergency officials are preparing for long-term power outages and residents should plan for those as well.
-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.
Residents who have evacuation questions may contact their respective local emergency operations centers:
– Sussex EOC – 856-7366 starting Sunday at 8 a.m.
– Kent EOC – 735-3465, starting Sunday at noon
– New Castle County EOC – 395-5555 starting Sunday at noon
– Wilmington EOC – 576-CITY starting Sunday at 9 a.m.
The Delaware Helpline at 1-800-464-HELP (4357) will also activate Sunday at 8 a.m. for hurricane information. The Hurricane Sandy Delaware Information Line is also available at 302-632-7060. Residents are encouraged to check-in on the elderly.