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Delaware prepares for weekend blizzard

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(AP) — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is urging state residents to prepare for severe weather in advance of a winter storm expected to dump more than a foot of snow on the area.

The National Weather Service has declared a blizzard watch for New Castle and Kent counties, while Sussex County is under a winter storm watch.The National Weather Service says Delaware could get up to 18 inches of snow, high winds and coastal flooding from Friday night through Sunday afternoon.

Markell is urging Delawareans to begin their preparations for the weekend, including changing travel plans to avoid traveling on area roads Friday night and Saturday. He says residents in flood-prone areas of Kent and Sussex Counties also should consider relocating for the weekend.

Markell has authorized the National Guard, in coordination with Delaware’s emergency management agency, to preposition forces to assist local first responders with stranded motorists, flooding evacuations, or any other emergencies.

The Delaware National Guard says it’s moving troops and trucks into position to respond quickly to winter storm emergencies.

Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala (VAV’-ah-lah) says about 125 soldiers and airmen should be in place Friday night for missions such as transporting citizens to safety, transporting first responders to emergencies and taking medical workers to hospitals and shelters.

He says the troops also can assist stranded motorists and provide traffic control.

Vavala says vehicles have been pre-positioned at National Guard facilities in Wilmington, Smyrna, Georgetown and an armory near Newport.

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