Sussex County is bracing for potentially its biggest bout of winter weather so far this year, as a major, late-season storm is forecast to bring a mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet to the region late this evening before transitioning overnight to all snow, which could measure a foot when all is said and done.
While temperatures today could push into the upper 50s, an approaching cold front will usher in much colder air, while a storm that drenched parts of the West Coast last week will sweep in to provide the moisture ingredient for a largely snow event. A winter storm warning is in effect for Sussex County until 6 p.m. Monday, March 3.
National Weather Service forecasters predict heavy snowfall rates, with accumulations ranging anywhere from six to 14 inches, depending on location, across Sussex County. Meantime, gusty winds up to 30 mph, particularly along the coast, and some minor flooding are possible. Unseasonably cold temperatures, with daytime highs in the upper 20s and overnight lows in the single digits, will make it feel like spring is well more than three weeks away.
“As much as we would all like to put this winter behind us, Mother Nature apparently isn’t finished just yet. And based on the forecast, it looks like the best - or worst, as it were - may have been saved for the last act,” said Sussex County Emergency Operations Center Director Joseph Thomas. “The public should closely monitor this developing situation, and use the time today to make any last-minute preparations for their properties and their families.”
Basic household supplies to have on hand include extra food and water, first-aid supplies, flashlights and batteries, a battery-powered weather radio, extra prescription medicines, baby items, an emergency heat source and sufficient heating fuel. While travel during the storm and immediately afterward is strongly discouraged, motorists should be prepared with certain essentials, including ice scrapers, blankets, sand or cat litter, de-icer, flashlights and batteries, mobile telephones, high-calorie non-perishable food and water, and a full tank of gas.
The Sussex County EOC continues to monitor forecasts and is working closely with other local and state governmental agencies. EOC staff is on standby, and further updates will be issued, as needed.
For the latest on road closures, go to the Delaware Department of Transportation website at www.deldot.gov. To view a map of power outages, go tot Delmarva Power at www.delmarva.com and the Delaware Electric Cooperative at www.delaware.coop.
For updates on the storm or any emergency response, stay tuned to local media outlets, and be sure to follow the County’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, www.facebook.com/SussexCountyDE, www.twitter.com/sussex_pio and www.twitter.com/SussexCtyDE_EOC. For non-emergency storm-related questions, contact the EOC’s storm hotline at 302-856-7366.