County Executive Thomas P. Gordon announced Friday afternoon that all New Castle County facilities -- including libraries, recreation centers and senior centers -- will be closed this weekend due to the coming snowstorm.
Any that normally have Friday evening hours will close at 6 p.m., Gordon said.
Residents are urged to get ready for the forecast blizzard and stay home when it begins, he said.
“That’s the safest place to be,” Gordon said, adding that the Federal Emergency Management Agency says about 70 percent of snow- and ice-related injuries occur in vehicle crashes, about 25 percent happen to people out in storms and other causes make up the remaining 5 percent.
“Please be prepared and check on those who may need help,” Gordon said, “especially the elderly and those with disabilities.”
“For everyone’s safety, we also are canceling all our scheduled public events,” he added.
All county-sponsored activities set for Friday evening through Sunday are canceled at libraries, recreation centers, senior centers and other county facilities. Rockwood Museum and other staffed county park facilities also are closed. All county sports league activities and clinics are canceled Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to be rescheduled at the season’s end.
The county has spent days readying equipment and adding staff from plow operators to police and paramedics. Crews will work around-the-clock to maintain emergency facilities’ access, said J. Wayne Merritt, acting general manager of the county Department of Special Services. With more than 500 tons of salt and crews ready, Merritt said the goal is to keep up with snow removal at other county facilities as well, so they can reopen promptly next week: “We’ll only shut down operations during blizzard conditions.”