Winter storm is on the way with winds, rain and snow

Here we go!

Welcome to real winter and real winter weather!

As everyone already knows, a winter storm watch is now in effect for Wicomico County, and will remain that way until Sunday morning.

According to National Weather Service forecasters based in Wakefield, Va., snow here in the heart of the Lower Shore could be heavy at times over the next 35 hours, with temperatures of around 31 degrees.

Wicomico County is right on that rain-sleet-snow line the weather forecasters are always talking about.

The total daytime snow accumulation is expected to be less than 1 inch. Tonight — Friday night — snow is expected to change to sleet between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., and then possibly to rain after that.

Winds will be gusty — as high as 60 mph; real nor’easter stuff — and the wet, wintry mix could be heavy at times.

Saturday morning is expected to be mostly rain, but then the weather could turn back into a snowstorm by the afternoon and and evening.

That accumulation is expected to be in the 2- to 4-inches range.

Snowfall will likely continue until at least 9 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday will be mostly cloudy, damp and cold, with highs in the mid-30s.

County health officials are reminding everyone to take measures to safeguard their health during emergencies.

“The forecasted weather system this weekend could bring snowfall, icy conditions, and high winds,” said Wicomico County Health Officer Lori Brewster. “Wicomico Health will be working with emergency agencies, hospitals, and private-sector partners to reinforce continuity of care for county residents as needs arise.”

County residents should check medication inventories and get refills if necessary, before weather affects their mobility or access to a pharmacy. The health department’s organizational structure provides for a continuum of care to assist with helping residents secure needed prescriptions during a crisis through coordination between the department’s Public Health and Health Care Financing groups.

The Medicaid program also will work with its managed care organizations to help enrollees meet essential health appointments for such services as dialysis sessions. Medicaid enrollees who encounter problems should call their Healthchoice MCO; if they have a medical emergency, they should call 9-1-1.

Meanwhile, Delmarva Power is closely monitoring the weather forecast that calls for snow, rain and strong winds which could potentially affect the company’s service territory Friday evening through the weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the region.

High winds and heavy, wet snow can weigh down tree limbs and bring them into contact with power lines causing power outages. Wet snow can also adversely affect saturated soil and allow trees already weakened by previous storms to fall onto power lines and equipment, causing power outages. Outages can also occur due to drivers skidding into utility poles along icy and snow-covered roads.  In addition to internal crews available 24 hours a day throughout the weekend, Delmarva Power has overhead line contractors and tree crews available to assist in any restoration effort.

Should outages occur, Delmarva Power will work around the clock to restore service, however, customers should be prepared for the possibility of service interruptions which could last several days. Delmarva Power coordinates with state, county and local emergency management officials during severe storm events.

Customers are asked to please call in any outages and stay away from any downed wires. To report outages and downed wires, call 800-898-8045.

Outages also may be reported through delmarva.com.

Storm preparedness tips:

  • Assemble an emergency storm kit. Include a battery-powered radio or television, flashlight, a first-aid kit, battery-powered or windup clock, extra batteries, special needs items, an insulated cooler and a list of important and emergency phone numbers.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable foods and bottled water and have a hand-operated can opener available.
  • Have adequate prescription medicines or infant supplies on hand.
  • Make sure you have a telephone with a cord or cell phone to use as a backup. Cordless telephones require electricity to operate and won’t work if there is an outage.
  • Identify a safe alternate location in case of an extended outage.
  • Tune to local news broadcasts for the latest weather and emergency information.
  • Follow the advice of local emergency management officials.

A good weather radar site can be found at: www.wunderground.com/weather-radar/united-states/animated

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