DE Officials & Residents Gear Up For Winter Storm - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

DE Officials & Residents Gear Up For Winter Storm

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DELAWARE - Old Man Winter is set to strike again.

DelDOT crews, more than 100 soldiers and airmen with the Delaware National Guard, and a number of other groups across the first state are spending Wednesday night gearing up for yet another winter storm.

"We encourage residents to take this storm and it's potential impact on the state seriously," says Governor Jack Markell.

The weather is unlike what many Delawareans are used to.

"This has been a little more harsh than usual," says Jim DiDonato, of Magnolia, Delaware.

However, used to it or not, many of them spent Wednesday preparing.

"I think I'm ready," says DiDonato.

Ace Hardware stores across the first state say their shelves were pretty bare by the evening and the Lowes store in Camden quickly sold out of salt. However, the salt shortage is not just a concern for hardware stores.

"Our top concern right now is salt," says Jim Westoff, DelDOT Community Relations Officer.

"Right now many jurisdictions throughout this region are in a tough spot when it comes to salt," says DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt.

DelDOT officials say they have about 36,000 tons of salt, which puts them at about 80 percent capacity. Westoff says that is enough to get Delaware through this storm and a number of others. However, they have also already reportedly spent nearly 10 million dollars responding to winter weather, which is what they reportedly spend on average for the whole winter. Westoff says they are not concerned because storm money comes out of operating budget that has more than 100 million dollars, but for those doing the grunt work, the winter has been especially grueling.

"It's just tough in the middle of the night when your out there driving a big heavy truck with a lot of salt and the responsibility for a lot of lives in your hands," says Secretary Bhatt. "And it's not just our crews, it's our vehicles that have also taken a pounding."

"During these storms, many times it will require an overnight stay multiple times in a row," says David Leager, DelDOT Shop Supervisor.

While the DelDOT crews prepare, Governor Markell is urging all residents to do their part and be ready for the worst.

"There's a potential for trees and power lines to be impacted which could lead to power outages," says Governor Markell. "Delmarva Power will be working closely with DelDot when it comes to making sure the roads are clear so that they can get the power back on, but it could take a while and people need to be prepared for that."

"If you don't need to be out there please don't be," says Secretary Bhatt.

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