NEW BRITAIN - While snow didnâ€™t begin falling in central Connecticut until Wednesday evening, residents and school officials spent the day ready for the regionâ€™s fourth norâ€™easter of the month.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Connecticut on Wednesday morning that remains in effect until 8 a.m. today. The forecast was for difficult travel conditions, especially during the evening commute, but by 5 p.m. snow had still not accumulated in much of the state.
The weather service also originally predicted accumulations between 5 to 9 inches, but those estimates dipped as the stormâ€™s path changed. The snow still was expected to increase in this area Wednesday night into early this morning.
While school districts didnâ€™t close for the day, many opted for early dismissal. Public schools in Berlin, New Britain and Newington closed early and Central Connecticut State University ended classes at noon.
Full snow days would have further pushed back the last day of school, so area districts embraced the chance to call an early dismissal. Assuming the seasonâ€™s late wave of snowstorms is over, Berlin High Schoolâ€™s graduation date will be June 24, Newingtonâ€™s June 21. New Britain school officials say they will announce New Britain High Schoolâ€™s graduation date in April.
Gov. Dannel Malloy partially opened the stateâ€™s Emergency Operations Center at 2 p.m. According to the Governorâ€™s Office, the state Department of Transportation had 634 trucks and 200 private contractors ready to plow the roads. Materials such as salt, liquid magnesium chloride and spare parts are stockpiled at about 50 satellite facilities throughout the state.
The department also has 17 industrial snow blowers, each capable of moving 1,500 tons of snow per hour.
High winds and snow caused a large number of power outages during the monthâ€™s earlier norâ€™easters. This storm, with gusts of up to 45 mph, has the potential to bring trees and tree limbs down onto power lines, according to Eversource.
â€śThe expected snow can weigh down tree limbs already weakened from previous storms, leaving them susceptible to coming down in high winds and damaging our equipment,â€ť said Mike Hayhurst, Eversourceâ€™s vice president of electric operations Mike Hayhurst. â€śWe have hundreds of employees ready to respond and will have crews prepositioned around the state before the storm hits so weâ€™re there when customers need us to safely and quickly restore power in case of any outages.â€ť
Residents should stay clear of downed wires and report them immediately to 911.
Outages can be reported to Eversource online at www.eversource.com or by calling 800-286-2000. People who have signed up for the companyâ€™s two-way texting feature can text outage reports and receive updates as they happen.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.