With the oncoming snow storm Maryland and Virginia have declared a state of emergency as Delaware Governor Jack Markell urges residents to prepare for the winter blast.
Delaware is expected to be hit the hardest on Delmarva with up to 8 inches in Sussex County while in Salisbury the snow is expected to be 2 to 4 inches deep.
The National Weather Service has declared a blizzard watch for New Castle and Kent counties, while Sussex County is under a winter storm watch.
Markell is urging Delawareans to begin their preparations for the weekend, including changing travel plans to avoid traveling on area roads Friday night and Saturday. He says residents in flood-prone areas of Kent and Sussex Counties also should consider relocating for the weekend.
Markell has authorized the National Guard, in coordination with Delaware's emergency management agency, to preposition forces to assist local first responders with stranded motorists, flooding evacuations, or any other emergencies.
Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala says about 125 soldiers and airmen should be in place Friday night for missions such as transporting citizens to safety, transporting first responders to emergencies and taking medical workers to hospitals and shelters.
He says the troops also can assist stranded motorists and provide traffic control.
Vavala says vehicles have been pre-positioned at National Guard facilities in Wilmington, Smyrna, Georgetown and an armory near Newport.
Yesterday Delmarva Public Radio’s Nathaniel Williamson spoke with residents in Salisbury who were getting ready for the oncoming snow:
State highway officials warn that travel will be restricted on roads that are deemed snow emergency routes.
Delmarva Power said its crews would be available 24 hour a day while Delaware Electric Cooperative says it has crews on hand to handle outages.
Officials are also warning residents along the coast to prepare for minor to moderate flooding.
In the Washington and Baltimore areas are under blizzard warnings with National Weather Service officials saying this storm could rank in the top ten that the region has seen.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Meteorologist Paul Kocin with the service's Weather Prediction Center says snowfall as heavy as 1 to 3 inches an hour could continue for 24 hours or more in the area. That puts estimates at more than 2 feet for Washington, a foot to 18 inches for Philadelphia and 8 inches to a foot in New York.
Five states and the District of Columbia have declared states of emergency ahead of the slow-moving system. The federal government announced Thursday night that its offices would close at noon Friday.
Weather service director Louis Uccellini says resident should expect brutally high winds, dangerous inland flooding, white-out conditions and even the possibility of thunder snow.