Update: Governor says stay off the roads

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2018 06:30
Written by Lisa Backus

@LBACKUSNBH

Forecasters have downgraded the impact of today's storm for Central Connecticut now saying the area will get four to eight inches while other parts of the state could get a foot or more.

Roads are wet, slick and slushy as of 9:45 a.m. but the worst of the third major storm in less than two weeks is yet to come, according to WFSB-TV.

New Britain police have been out in force since early this morning ticketing cars for parking on the streets during the snow parking ban which went into effect at midnight.

Third shift patrol officers issued 108 parking ban violation tickets overnight, Capt. William Steck said. New Britain Traffic Division officers who were brought in at 5 a.m. issued 125 parking ban violations and towed four cars, Steck said.

"We're only towing if it's a public safety issue or if Public Works says it's a problem," Steck said.

Otherwise the city is quiet with no major accidents, Steck said.

Berlin is also quiet, Deputy Chief Christopher Ciuci said.

All area schools including Tunxis Community College were closed in anticipation of deteriorating conditions with 8 to 12 inches of snow or more expected to fall in Central Connecticut by the time the storm finishes this evening.

About 50 percent of flights in the northeast were cancelled as of this morning and state officials are urging residents to stay home. Parking bans in New Britain and Southington went into effect at midnight.

Judicial Branch officials announced at 7 a.m. that all courts are closed today. Former mayoral candidate Alfred Mayo found guilty of breach of peace in an assault on Mayor Erin Stewart was scheduled to be sentenced today. There is no word on when the sentencing will take place.

State offices for first-shift employees are also closed, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced this morning. “As the snowstorm develops and anticipated accumulation amounts across the state continue to grow, we believe that it is best to keep state offices closed for the day on Tuesday,” Malloy said in a statement. “We encourage everyone to be safe and stay off the roads if at all possible. If you absolutely must travel, please allow extra time, reduce speeds, keep a safe distance from plows, and do not attempt to pass plows, as that can be extremely dangerous. If employers can allow people to work from home or alter their hours, we encourage them to do that as well.”

Snow began falling in Central Connecticut by 4 a.m. WFSB-TV meteorologists Scot Haney and Mark Dixon said the storm will ramp up quickly with snow falling at rates of one, two and three inches per hour before 2 p.m. when the worst is expected to wind down.

WFSB-TV adjusted their forecast after two bands of heavy snow remained in place over eastern and western Connecticut while the center of the state was still seeing heavy flurries and slush. Other regions of the state may get up to a foot or more, WFSB-TV said.

With snowfall beginning to pick up this morning, Malloy warned Connecticut residents to stay off the road unless completely necessary.

The governor said the state Department of Transportation has 843 trucks on the roads, and drivers should keep a safe distance from plows. While snow is beginning to build up, Malloy said ice is something Department of Transportation workers are anticipating will be a problem soon.

“We’re concerned about a drop in temperature, and what that could mean fairly quickly,” Malloy said of the potential for ice.

The governor said state officials do not expect the same level of power outages as last week. There are about 1,800 outages reported in the state as of 10 a.m. , Malloy said.

Metro North services are operating, with some delays, as are the state’s busses. Amtrak and Shorline east trips have been suspended for the day. About 65 percent of flights to and from Bradley International Airport have been cancelled.

Malloy partially opened the state’s Emergency Operations Center at 4 a.m.

Staff writer Skyler Frazer contributed to this story.



Posted in New Britain Herald, on Tuesday, 13 March 2018 06:30. Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2018 11:45.