State Preparing With 12-22 Inches Of Snow Looming Tuesday; Blizzard Warning Issued – Hartford Courant
Connecticut officials are preparing for a nor’easter Tuesday that could bring 12 to 22 inches of snow, with some areas seeing upwards of 2 feet, during the day Tuesday. The threat of strong winds has led the National Weather Service to issue a blizzard warning for much of the southern portion of the state.
Fox 61 Meteorologist Joe Furey said Tuesday’s storm is “one that’s going to pound down snow on us during the day tomorrow.”
Snow is expected to start falling between 3 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, causing white-out conditions and making travel “extremely difficult,” Furey said in a morning forecast. In some areas winds will be gusting at 50 miles an hour, increasing the threat for power outages.
“This is going to be a quite a show,” Furey said. He added that snow could fall at 2 to 3 inches an hour at some points during the day Tuesday.
The weather service had issued a blizzard warning from Tuesday morning until Wednesday morning for much of Southern Connecticut given the threat of strong wind. The remainder of the state was under a winter storm warning for the same period.
“It’s a monster nor’easter,” Fox 61 meteorologist Matt Scott said Sunday night. “It has the potential to be the worst snow we’ve had in a couple of seasons.”
Scott added: “It’s not our job to scare you but to prepare you. This has the potential to be tough.”
Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said crews would be out during the day Monday pre-treating the roads ahead of the snow.
“When we pre-treat, we are generally hitting the highway bridges, the hills and valleys on the highways and then we hit the tough areas as well on secondary state roads,” Nursick said.
The DOT is prepared for the storm ahead. Nursick said: “All of our equipment is ready to go – 634 trucks and 250 contractors … We will have all of our assets on the roads tomorrow.”
State police said they are anticipating having extra troopers available based on the conditions. The midnight shift could be asked to stay on in the morning and there’s the possibility the evening shift would come in early, officials said.
“Everybody is on stand-by,” Trooper Kelly Grant, a department spokesman, said.
Grant said drivers should reduce their speed and leave plenty of room between vehicles. She also said that they should remember to put on their headlights, so their car is visible to other drivers.
AAA is urging people to prepare for the storm.
“The best thing about this storm is that we know it’s coming, giving everyone the opportunity to prepare,” said Amy Parmenter, AAA spokesperson in greater Hartford, in a statement. “Driving in windy winter weather – or getting stranded roadside – puts drivers, their passengers and those who then must come to their rescue, at increased risk.”
The looming winter weather has already lead some towns and cities to call for parking bans to ease the clean-up efforts.
Hartford officials said city residents should expect a parking ban, but details had not yet been released as those officials continued to plan for the snow.
Airport officials said Monday that they were monitoring the storm and making preparations for snow removal on Tuesday.
On Sunday night, Peter Pan Bus Lines announced that it would cancel service Tuesday on 20 routes, affecting travel from upstate New York to Washington D.C. The cancellations include from Hartford to New York via Danbury, Southbury, Waterbury, Farmington, New Britain, New Haven and Bridgeport.
Scott said the snow will be dry and powdery, causing drifting and making it difficult for road crews to keep roads clear.
The weather service cautioned residents against traveling on Tuesday unless absolutely necessary and to travel with food, a flashlight and water in case of an emergency. The forecast warned that even well-treated roads could be impassable.
Nursick said people should plan to stay off the roads. “Unless you have an emergency purpose tomorrow, you shouldn’t be traveling during this storm.”
He said DOT crews will be able to keep up with the storm, leaving the roads passable, if they aren’t dealing with crashes and spin-outs.
“I have no doubt that we will be able to keep roads open as long as we keep extraneous travel to a minimum,” Nursick said. The staff has ample experience in handling these storms.
The full moon raises the potential for coastal flooding for the southern portion of the state.
Heavy snow and gusting winds may have people concerned that they will lose power, but Eversource said they are prepared to handle any issues.
“We design and build our system to stand up to the effects of storms like this and our staff will be ready to address any damage the snow and winds might cause,” said Mike Hayhurst, vice president of electric system operations at Eversource. in a statement. “We’re confident our ongoing system improvements and tree maintenance program, combined with our strategic emergency response plan, will enable us to safely and efficiently handle any issues that may arise.”
United Illuminating, which serves customers in the south-central portion of the state, said they have been planning and preparing for the storm as well.
“Currently, we are aligning our resources, crews, support staff and finalizing all logistics necessary to respond to the weather event. We have been in contact with a number of the city and town leaders in the areas we serve and providing information, intelligence and organizing ourselves in advance of the potential nor’easter,” said Michael A. West Jr., a United Illuminating spokesman.
Tuesday’s snowstorm comes on the heels of a weekend of frigid temperatures. In Hartford, temperatures on Sunday morning were around 13 degrees, with the temperature dipping to 8 degrees in Torrington and 6 in Salisbury.
The cold snap caused Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to activate the state’s severe cold weather protocol from Friday through Thursday morning.
“Temperatures have been fluctuating a lot lately, which is especially why we want to get word out to the most vulnerable that it will be brutally cold this weekend and anyone in need should seek shelter,” Malloy said. “If anyone is in need of shelter, call 211 to find the nearest available location.”