With Sandy's impending arrival tomorrow bringing sustained 30-40 mph winds in the morning, heavy rains and wind throughout the day and limited visibility for motorists, Governor Jack Markell ordered statewide "Level Two" driving restrictions beginning at 5:00 a.m. on Monday.
According to state law, a 'Level 2 Driving Restriction' provides that no person shall operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways other than essential personnel. 'Essential personnel' includes those employees necessary to maintain the core functions of government and maintain health and safety by providing utility services, healthcare services, and food and fuel deliveries. In addition, some private employers have received a waiver from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency for essential employees.
For Monday morning, forecasters now expect 30 to 40 mile per hour sustained winds and heavy driving rain, which will make driving visibility very poor. Traffic managers say traffic signals will be hard to see because of the sustained wind. At 40 mile per hour winds, DelDOT and other responders are not supposed to be out of their vehicles. At 50 miles per hour, which may be reached Monday afternoon, bridges over the Chesapeake and Delaware canal will close.
"People have had several days to be out preparing for the storm's arrival. When Sandy hits on Monday, they should be at home or if necessary a shelter to wait out the worst of the storm," Markell said. ""Do not put yourself on the road. Do not put yourself – and those who may need to rescue you – at risk."
A violation of Level Two driving restriction has a penalty of a fine of up to $115 on first offense, and a fine of up to $200 and up to 30 days in jail for subsequent offenses.
On Saturday, Markell declared a State of Emergency and ordered a mandatory evacuation of flood-prone areas. Earlier this evening, when the evacuation period had ended, Markell implemented a Level One driving warning, encouraging motorists to stay off the roads and businesses to keep employees home.