Snow storm blankets Sussex

More than eight inches of snow fell on Sussex County starting Friday evening and continuing Saturday. A mixture of snow, sleet and rain continued Saturday afternoon, but Saturday evening an additional inch or more fell on the area. According to Delaware State Police, here are the accident totals from midnight to 6:30 p.m. Saturday: Sussex County: 63 property crashes, 8 injury crashes, 62 disabled vehicles. Kent County: 33 crashes, 21 disabled vehicles. New Castle: 73 crashes, 15 injury crashes, 175 disabled vehicles. On Saturday Governor Jack Markell declared a State of Emergency for Kent and New Castle counties. Travel during one of the busiest pre-Christmas weekends was affected by blowing snow and icy streets. A power outage occurred along River Road Saturday when snow-laden tree branches broke off and damaged power lines.

While Delaware in recent years has not faced that much snowfall, the state has 446 vehicles available for snow operations. Approximately 65,000 tons of salt are stockpiled in more than 20 locations throughout the state. During significant snow or ice events, nearly 500 employees take part in snow removal operations. Changing weather conditions including freezing/thawing will make the highways hazardous for days to come. The risk of black ice, particularly on bridges and in shaded areas along highways will result from the changing temperatures. State offices opened two hours late on Monday. With some back roads still covered with snow and others freezing over Sunday night, the delay gave DelDOT road crews a chance to treat and plow some roads before the morning commute. AAA Mid-Atlantic was inundated by calls from motorists seeking roadside assistance. AAA Mid-Atlantic was handling between 600-800 calls an hour Saturday.

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