DOVER, Del. (CBS) — Delaware was blanketed by snow, some areas had drifting, and coastal flooding was a major concern in other parts of the state as a massive winter storm pummeled the east coast.
Road conditions deteriorated rapidly overnight, and continued to worsen Saturday in most of Kent and New Castle Counties, officials said.
All of DelDOT’s 330 plows and more than 500 employees were hard at work, trying to clear roads and bridges of snow.
In New Castle and Kent Counties, crews continued working on the primary roads, but were not immediately able to start plowing secondary roads.
With another five to eight inches of snow forecast, DelDOT warned that crews in may not be able to start working on those secondary roads any time soon.
On Saturday afternoon, state officials issued a Level 2 driving ban to help DelDOT crews with plowing and salting.
“Under a Level 2 Driving Restriction, no person may operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways,” officials said, “except for persons designated as essential personnel or who have received a waiver from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency.”
Sussex County did not receive as much snow as the other two counties, officials said, so crews began clearing primary roads and started on secondary roadways.
However, the county was dealing with significant flooding, with Route 1 closed due to water breaching the sand dunes from both the ocean side and the bay side. In addition, officials said there was significant flooding in the Long Neck area and on Prime Hook Road.
Sussex County has been plagued with extremely high winds up to 50 miles per hour, with wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour.
The National Weather Service had declared a Blizzard Warning for New Castle County, and Kent and Sussex Counties were under a Winter Storm Watch.
After consulting with DelDOT and emergency management officials, Governor Markell announced Saturday night that the “Level 2 Driving Restriction” in New Castle and Kent Counties will continue until 10 a.m. Sunday, at which time he will downgrade the restriction to a “Level 1 Driving Warning.”
A Level 1 warning will remain in effect in Sussex County as well until further notice. A statewide State of Emergency also remains in effect until further notice.