Sussex County Faces Snow - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Faces Snow

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DELAWARE - The snow fell for most of the day Monday, and across Sussex County people were forced to face the elements. And throughout, there was a similar story; A lot of snow and low winds, creating an uncomfortable situation for those outside. 

We begin with Tom Givens, a mailman from Lewes. He was hard at work, delivering mail on Route 9 in Georgetown. While most were enjoying their day off inside, Givens was there to fulfill his duty.  

"We're out here through rain, sleet, and snow," he said. "So we just have to make sure we don't get hit by any cars." 

The temperature dropped into the teens Monday in Sussex County, which made his task very difficult. Other than the temperatures though, Givens said road conditions were also problematic. 

 The Delaware Department of Transportation focused on primary roadways such as Route 9 and Route One, leaving many of the secondary roads impassable. 

 In Georgetown, WBOC found Daniel Ramseur on the side of Route 9. He had his tool kit in hand, overlooking his knocked over mailbox.  

"The plow trucks come around here shoveling the snow so hard," he said. "They just knocked the mailbox off…. It's not the first time. Every time we get a heavy snow, it does it."

DelDOT told WBOC that about 100 mailboxes are knocked over every storm. However, they said this was just a necessary evil, to keep road conditions safe. They said they fix any damaged mailboxes free of charge, upon request.

But it wasn't just people and mailboxes feeling the consequences of this storm. Businesses also were impacted. At the Georgetown Plaza, there are just under a dozen cars, as most people were staying at home. However a duo of private plows maneuver through the lot, clearing out snow. 

At J & J Bagels, the owner Harold Short said that business had been slow all day, due to the falling snow. 

"A lot of people aren't coming out in this mess," he said. "Their too scared or too afraid to come out in it. You know with accidents. And someone could spin out, hit them, and then they're tore up. So better off, they stay home." 

And this decision to stay home was common. Governor Jack Markell issued a state of emergency with a level one driving warning. That warning lasted until 8:00 in Sussex County. 

Despite the warning, people still were driving, resulting in 101 accidents in Delaware between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 

 The Tanger outlets in Rehoboth Beach also closed down on Monday. However, dozens of workers were out in the shopping center clearing out the snow, hoping to open up Tuesday morning. Jim Park lifted an enormous chunk of snow from the ground with his plow. 

"We got a phone call at 7:00 this morning telling us to be here at 9:00," he said at around 4:30 Monday.  "And we've been out here ever since. And whatever it takes to get it done, we get it done... Whatever it takes to get these outlets open tomorrow, that's how long we'll be here." 

He said they were optimistic that they'd be open for Tuesday morning. But the question is whether people will be willing to make the trek on Route One. 

DelDOT plows continued to plow the major highway throughout the evening, but Monday night, the road remained sloppy. The major problem they faced was with ice. 

One of the major problems with this storm was that the rain persisted up until the snow actually began. This made it impossible for DelDOT to pre-treat the roads with salt and sand. 

In the end, they weren't able to drop the salt-sand mix until around 3:00 in the morning. As a result, many of the roads are covered in a layer of ice, which has caused many accidents across the state. 

Don Davis from New Castle County was driving in Rehoboth on Route One, and dealing with the poor driving conditions. 

"It's a mess," he said. "There's snow and ice everywhere. And slippery roads." 

 

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