Cold blast to last through Monday as Delaware digs out
As much as 7 inches of snow has accumulated at Delaware beaches by mid-afternoon Saturday. A winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. CHUCK SNYDER/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL
Winter storm in Lewes. Jason Minto/The News Journal
Five Baltimore area women laughas they try to get to the beach duringthe snowstorm on Saturday. The womenare part of a group of 16 who come to Rehoboth every year for a spa weekend. It's a tradition they've kept going for 15 years.
Views from Downtown Salisbury's streets. Produced by Ralph Musthaler
Maryland State Police are asking people to stay off the roads as snow falls on Delmarva on Jan. 7, 2017. Deborah Gates Video
Several inches of snow have fallen in Salisbury, and roads are becoming slushy and slippery. Video by Jeremy Cox
Snow had covered the Somerset County town with about 6 inches as of 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, and it was still coming down. Liz Holland
Low visibility from blowing snow has made travel difficult on Coastal Highway as snow continues to fall in the Rehoboth Beach area as plows try to keep up. CHUCK SNYDER/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL
Bethany Beach area residents talk about the big snow on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. Produced by Ryan Marshall
Snow falls during the early morning hours in Bethany Beach on Saturday, Jan. 7 2017. Ryan Marshall video
Snow started at Rehoboth Beach around 5:15 a.m. Saturday as roads and the boardwalk started to get covered with the wind blowing about. 20 mph. CHUCK SNYDER/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL
Snow begins to fall near the Island Club apartment complex in Salisbury, Maryland, on Jan. 7, 2017. Keith Demko video
- Snow piles up at Delaware beaches
- Winter storm hits Lewes
- A very snowy Rehoboth Beach spa weekend
- WATCH: Scenes during Downtown Salisbury's Snowstorm
- WATCH: Md. police say stay off the roads
- WATCH: Snow scenes in Salisbury
- WATCH: Snowstorm hits Princess Anne
- Low visibility as snow storm strengthens at Delaware beaches
- Watch: Beach residents explore snowy sand
- Raw: Snow falls on Bethany Beach boardwalk
- Snow, strong winds arrive in Rehoboth Beach
- WATCH: Raw video of snow falling in Salisbury
After about 10 inches dumped on southern Delaware, residents work to clear out
Delaware's first major snowstorm of the year may be over, but forecasters say the cold will stick around.
After dumping as much as 13.5 inches of snow in parts of Sussex County, a weekend winter storm has left most of Delmarva with freezing temperatures and even colder wind chills. Gusts of up to 35 miles per hour left those along Delaware's shoreline chilly and bundled Sunday, as many tried to venture from their homes onto the coast.
In Bethany, clean-up crews worked diligently Sunday morning, shoveling snow off the boardwalk and sprinkling salt onto the roadways, now covered in a thick, icy blanket. The state Department of Transportation made primary highways its main concern Saturday while the snow fell, leaving many back roads untouched until Sunday morning.
Already, school districts announced closures for Monday due to the inclement weather. These southern Delaware districts will not open Monday: Sussex Tech School District, Cape Henlopen School District, Indian River School District and Delmar and Delmar Elementary schools.
University of Delaware's Lewes campus will also open on a delayed start at 10 a.m.
Despite the treacherous road conditions, coupled with blistering cold and piercing wind, residents held a cavalier attitude down at the beach Sunday, braving the cold for an up-close look of where the water meets the white.
BY THE NUMBERS: Delaware snowfall totals
"It's just amazing," Bethany resident Ron Lewis said. "It's the ocean, just seeing how it connects with the snow, what a great view."
Lewis, who moved to Bethany Beach permanently from northeast Pennsylvania three years ago, said the snowfall was nothing new to him.
"I'm used to it," Lewis said. "I come down here (the boardwalk) every Sunday. This time my wife wimped out, but I'm just hoping the coffee shop is open."
While Lewis said he'd seen similar snowfall in Bethany a few years back, the storm that struck Delmarva Saturday came as a shock to newer residents.
"When we moved here, we were sure we left this all behind," said Terry Welch, who moved to Bethany Beach from West Virginia in October. "When we got the forecast, I was just in denial, but now here we are."
Welch, looking off from the edge of the wooden walkway leading to the beach, said the view of waves crashing against the snow was worth braving the frigid weather.
"It's really just amazing," Welch said.
The National Weather Service estimated that Sussex County took the brunt of this storm, raking up totals of well over a foot of snow in some places. Kent County reported totals ranging from 3 to 6.5 inches, and New Castle County reported anywhere between 2 and 4.5 inches of snow.
It's not abnormal for this time of year, according to meteorologist Mitchell Gaines. Most of Delaware's snowfall occurs primarily between January and March, and despite an otherwise mild winter, the cold will stick around for part of the week. Temperatures will, however, climb as the week continues. Forecasters expect rain by the end of the week, with temperatures in the low 50s.
But that weather comes after at least another day of below-freezing temperatures. Wind chills late Sunday night and early Monday were expected to be at or below zero.
GALLERY: Snow falls on downstate Delaware
LIVE: Winter storm coverage
"Make sure to bundle up," Gaines said. "And wear plenty of layers tonight and tomorrow. It's still very cold."
The state Department of Transportation said in a statement Sunday that much of the organization's work occurred overnight Saturday, as crews worked to clear as many roads as possible. Primary roads and bridges are always the initial focus, according to the state.
The high winds on Sunday did make for some drifting snow, covering some roadways that were once clear, according to DelDOT. Drivers were advised to use caution and to be patient around snow-removal equipment as the state continued its efforts.
The big sense of relief from the weekend's storm, though, came with its timing. Unlike some storms, which slam the workweek commutes, Saturday's snow gave those with nowhere to be a chance to enjoy the weather.
For resident Mike Wechsley, the snow was a welcome guest.
"I was out here in the middle of the storm, I even went in the water for a minute, with my boots on, of course," Wechsley said. "It's just incredible. It's something you don't see very often, and you just can't beat that ocean view during a snowstorm."
Mark Price and Ambrie Paquette prayed for a snowy Saturday, and Mother Nature answered with abundance.
Mark Price and Ambrie Paquette returned to their hometown of Milford to be married on Saturday. The two have been living in Louisiana for the last five years but were high school sweethearts in Milford.
They wanted to get married near the bridge in Memorial Park where Price says the two have fond memories.
They pictured a beautiful outdoor wedding with a light snow falling around them as Paquette's father – who became an ordained minister so he could marry the couple – heard their vows of lifelong love.
Well, two out of three ain't bad.
There was plenty of picturesque scenery and love to be had, but the whole snow thing was a little over the top.
"I was really hoping it would snow," Price said, "but maybe not this much."
Reporters Molly Murray and Jerry Smith contributed.
Contact Brittany Horn at (302) 324-2771 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @brittanyhorn.