Gov. Jack Markell has issued a state of emergency declaration and imposed a Level 1 driving warning throughout the state.

Gov. Jack Markell has issued a State of Emergency and a Level 1 driving warning for the state.

Both go into effect at midnight, March 3, Markell said.

The declarations are due to a severe winter storm bearing down on the state, a storm that’s expected to generate a significant amount of snowfall.

State of Delaware offices also will be closed during regular 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. business hours, Markell said. Nonessential employees are not to report to work for this period, but essential employees are to report as scheduled.

According to state law, a Level 1 warning means any person on the road during that time shall exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle on the state's roadways during the warning unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.

“Once the precipitation turns to snow, we strongly encourage drivers who do not need to travel to delay or refrain from being on the road,” Markell said. “Snowfall amounts are predicted to increase rapidly as the storm progresses, which will create hazardous driving conditions. Hundreds of DelDOT crews will continue to work on clearing roads and we will continue to evaluate conditions.”