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Saturday, April 21 Weather

Towns, cities prepare after NWS posts winter storm warning

With more than a foot of snow possible, the National Weather Service has posted a winter storm warning for most of Connecticut.

The warning, in effect from 12 a.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday, says most of interior Connecticut can expect between 10 and 15 inches. “Locally higher amounts are possible,” the NWS says. About 1 to 2 inches per hour can be expected.

The snow is expected to begin right around 11 a.m., a little later than thought earlier. There was a little snow that fell overnight, leaving lawns in the region looking like they were sprayed with shaving cream.

“Travel will be very difficult to impossible, including during the evening commute on Wednesday. Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times,” the NWS says. It’s possible that we’ll hear thunder, too, as the height on the cloud deck will lead to the possibility of lightning.

Tuesday, 10 p.m.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced he will partially activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday. The EOC will monitor storm conditions across the state.

“We continue to monitor this weather pattern very closely and will have essential personnel at the state’s Emergency Operations Center to better coordinate rapid response to any problems that may arise,” Malloy said in a prepared statement. “We are urging residents to plan ahead and exercise caution if they need to travel - we anticipate rough afternoon conditions as the heaviest of the snow is anticipated to impact the state during the afternoon through the evening.”

The state’s EOC will be staffed with personnel from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, the Department of Transportation, the Connecticut National Guard, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Administrative Services, and liaisons from Eversource and United Illuminating.

Tuesday, 9:45 p.m.

Derby

Derby police ask people to plan accordingly for Wednesday’s expected storm.

The winter parking ban is in effect — meaning residents can only park on the odd side of the streets. Those who don’t risk being ticketed or towed, police said.

Free parking is available at the parking garage downtown Tuesday into Wednesday for anyone trying to get their vehicle off the road during snow removal.

All homeowners and business owners must remove snow and ice from their sidewalks. Snow should not be pushed into the roadway. Both of these actions are subject to a $75 fine.

“If you must travel, please exercise caution,” Derby police warn.

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, police said, and keep extra distance between your car and others. Remove all snow and ice from your vehicle before driving.

“Operating an igloo that poses a threat to other drivers is a violation of Connecticut General Statute and is a $120 infraction,” Derby police said. The fine is bumped up to $200 if the snow or ice becomes dislodged and causes damage to other vehicles.

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Tuesday, 8 p.m.

Danbury

A level 1 snow emergency was issued for the city Tuesday. It will go into effect at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Tuesday, 6:25 p.m.

On Monday and Tuesday, Eversource spokeswoman Tricia Modifica said, the company has been surveying power lines from the air using helicopters to check from damage during the previous storm. This surveillance will continue Wednesday, she said, weather permitting.

“It’s a proactive measure to address the issues before they become a problem in tomorrow’s storm,” Modifica said in a phone interview Tuesday.

She said Eversource will have crews pre-positioned throughout the state. She said as the storm hits, if there are outages, crews could be relocated to more affected areas.

As the storm approaches, Eversource encourages residents to assemble or restock a storm kit with essential items. Those items should include water, non-perishable food and pet food, medical supplies and necessary medications. All wireless communication devices should be full-charged in case of a power outage.

The United Illuminating spokesman could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, 5:10 p.m.

Mayor Harry W. Rilling issued a snow emergency for the city, effective at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuesday, 4:45 p.m

Bradley International Airport said it is closely monitoring the forecast and that it has crews on stand-by for snow removal operations.

“Some airlines have started adjusting their schedules in anticipation of the storm and we are starting to see a number of cancellations for tomorrow (Wednesday),” said Alisa D. Sisic, the airport’s public information officer.

Passengers scheduled to travel Wednesday are advised to check with their airline and check on any potential re-booking options before heading to the airport.

Real-time flight updates can be found at www.flybdl.org. Twitter users can receive automated updates by tweeting their flight number to @BDLFlightInfo.

Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.

Bridgeport

Mayor Joe Ganim issued a snow emergency for the city that will take effect at 12 a.m. Wednesday.

During the snow emergency, residents must move their cars off posted snow emergency streets.

Commercial and residential owners who push snow into the street or do not clear their sidewalks are subject to a $100 fine.

Call the city’s Emergency Operations Center hotline at 203-579-3829 with any snow-related emergencies. The EOC will be fully staffed and operating 24/7 during the snow emergency. Anyone who loses power can call United Illuminating at 1-800-722-5584.

Major travel streets in the city have top priority when it comes to plowing, official said. Any issues or concerns related to plowing can be reported on the Bridgeport 311 website or mobile application.For the latest updates, resources and information about the snowstorm, check Bridgeportct.gov/snow and follow the city’s Twitter and Facebook.

Darien

Measured and well-thought response plans have been critical and will continue to be so when the town is impacted by storms, according to Director of Public Works Ed Gentile, .

“This allows for the directing of the proper equipment and manpower to the proper areas,” Gentile said via email. “Preparation is key to meeting the challenges of these types of storms and back to back storm events are common in this area.”

He added that cooperation from all parties including the fire department, police, Eversource, town residents and public works are essential for preparation.

Fairfield

First Selectman Mike Tetreau tweeted that “ due to changeable weather predictions and impacts, we will make (a) decision on town hall operations Wednesday morning by 6 a.m. Storm hitting our town strongest in afternoon.”

Milford

Mayor Ben Blake issued a snow emergency due to the expected storm.

Tuesday, 4 p.m.

Norwalk

The Norwalk Fire Department is urging families to take precautions ahead of the expected snow storm. Fire officials encourage residents to be mindful of cold and possibly hazardous conditions — including the potential for power outages.

Norwalk fire officials said families should create a disaster supplies kit and a disaster plan, be careful with candle and check that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly working.

When it comes to heating, make sure space heaters are at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn and do not leave them on overnight. Do not use stoves or ovens to heat a home.

Keep at least half a tank of gas in your vehicle during the storm — and throughout the winter season. If you absolutely don’t have to drive, fire officials said, don’t. But, if you must, make sure you brush off your car before driving.

“Be a good neighbor- check on family, friends or neighbors who may need help shoveling snow. If possible, please clear fire hydrants to allow firefighters quick access during a fire,” fire officials said.

Additional safety tips can be found at www.ready.gov.

The city’s website will also be updated regarding closings in the city at www.norwalkct.org.

Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.

Ansonia

Michael D’Alessio, Ansonia’s public works director, said his crew were getting the city’s 10 trucks ready with plows and salt.

“We’ll have 10 drivers, a couple mechanics and a foreman here,” D’Alessio said. “They’ll be coming in an hour before it starts snowing.”

He said his crews will pretreat the streets with salt. D’Alessio said he has 500 tons of salt and sand available.

“That’s enough for two or three major snow storms,” he said.

Meanwhile the forecast of heavy wet snows means the crews clearing the sidewalks around city buildings may have to work harder.

“When it’s a light, fluffy snow we can use the snow blowers or even leaf blowers but now with the heavy stuff,” D’Alessio. “They have to shovel.”

Derby

In Derby, the city will not pre-treat the roads. Nor do they ever, said Public Works Director Edward Armeno. He said the lack of pre-treatment to the roads is because of the hills in the city.

Instead, Armeno said, there will be 18 people working to keep the roads clear in Derby.

“Our 12 trucks will be ready and equipped with sand and salt,” he said. “If necessary we’ll supplement the our Public Works personnel with our people at the Sewage Treatment plants.”

Stratford

With potential coastal flooding at high tide, the town’s emergency services and public safety personnel have been alerted and are monitoring the storm, town officials said.

“Public should exercise caution and beware of possible downed trees and power lines,” Stratford town officials said.

Any power outages should be reported the United Illuminating, officials said, not Stratford police.

Tuesday, 3 p.m.

Brookfield’s volunteer fire company will staff the firehouses in town “for rapid responses” for fire and emergency medical service emergencies during the storm.

Original story

With more than a foot of snow possible, the National Weather Service has posted a winter storm warning for most of Connecticut.

The warning, in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 4 a.m. Thursday, says most of interior Connecticut can expect between 10 and 15 inches. “Locally higher amounts are possible,” the NWS says.

The snow is expected to begin right around the start of Wednesday’s AM commute.

“Travel will be very difficult to impossible, including during the evening commute on Wednesday. Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times.”

“Impossible” is a word not often seen in NWS advisories.

People will be able to make it to work Wednesday morning, but getting home will be difficult (or impossible) with snow falling at the rate of an inch or two an hour.

The most likely chance of snow is expected between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to the NWS hourly forecast.

On Tuesday morning, the NWS New York office released a map of expected snowfall across the region.

It has 8 inches to a foot along the southwest Connecticut shoreline, averaging around 10 inches in the shoreline cities of Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and New Haven. A foot to 15 inches is forecast for Danbury, Oxford, Waterbury and Meriden.

The NWS’s Albany, N.Y. office bumps up the highest snowfall total in Northwest Connecticut to 17 inches.

With a forecast like this, it’s almost certain, schools will be closed Wednesday; maybe Thursday as well.

While Metro-North has not yet announced any service changes, it’s likely train service will be affected. New York City is in line to get 9 inches of snow.

In earlier big snowstorms, Metro-North has suspended service. “Suspending service ensures trains do not get stuck along the right-of-way, which would leave you stranded, and make our recovery efforts extremely challenging,” it says on its Winter Weather Travel page.

Highlights from the NWS’s weather discussion: “There still remains some uncertainty with the track and strength of the low ... will need to watch for another potential coastal storm to impact the region Sunday night into Monday, bringing the threat of another round of precipitation.”

The threat of another nor’easter comes at a time when hundreds of people are still without electricity.

Days after Monday’s nor’easter, Eversource reported Tuesday morning that nearly 800 customers have no power, including 240 in Greenwich and 85 in Stamford

What other forecasters are saying

Accuweather: Forecasts 6 to 12 inches across western Connecticut and the SW CT shoreline. Totals drop to 3 to 6 inches along the shoreline east of New Haven.

Weather Channel: Forecasts 12 to 18 inches in interior western Connecticut. Along the shoreline from Greenwich to New Haven, it forecasts 8-12 inches.

NBC Connecticut: Forecasts heaviest snow of 8 to 14 inches from Ridgefield-Danbury area, up into Northwest Hills. Four to 8 inches is forecast for central Connecticut. Between 1 to 4 inches along the southeast Connecticut shoreline.

WFSB: Forecasts 8 to 18 inches “with two feet possible” in western Connecticut from the shoreline to Northwest Hills. Four to 8 inches is forecast for eastern Connecticut.

WTNH: Forecasts 8 to 14 inches for most of Connecticut. Along the shoreline from Greenwich to Clinton, 4 to 8 inches; southeast shoreline could see 1 to 4 inches.

News 12: Forecasts 6 to 12 inches.

Nearly all forecasts indicate that “locally higher amounts” are possible.

The NWS forecast

Today: Sunny, with a high near 41. Wind chill values between 20 and 30. North wind around 7 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.

Tonight: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 1 a.m. Increasing clouds, with a low around 30. East wind around 6 mph.

Wednesday: Snow. High near 37. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. Breezy, with an east wind 7 to 12 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Wednesday night: Snow, mainly before 4 a.m. Steady temperature around 33. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. Breezy, with a north wind 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Thursday: A 50 percent chance of snow showers, mainly before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 40. West wind 9 to 11 mph.

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