Central Connecticut avoids nor'easter's full impact

Published on Tuesday, 13 March 2018 19:37
Written by LISA BACKUS


It was a relatively quiet day for central Connecticut as the third major storm in less than two weeks largely bypassed the area, pummeling the western and eastern parts of the state instead.

By the time the heaviest bands of snow moved into Central Connecticut around midday, the storm was almost over, leaving streets wet and sidewalks and grass covered with about 4 inches of fluffy snow.

Eastern Connecticut hit the “jackpot,” said WFSB-TV3 meteorologist Mark Dixon. “They have 10 inches plus and the snow is coming down at 2 inches per hour,” Dixon said around noon.

Roads were wet, slick and slushy most of the day in the New Britain area. The good news, Dixon said, is that the temperature dropped, so the snow was light rather than heavy, as it was in last week’s storm that caused power outages throughout the state.

The storm had been forecast to drop at least 8 to 12 inches throughout the state.

With schools and state offices closed, it was a quiet day on the roads, according to area police.

New Britain police were out early Tuesday morning, ticketing cars for parking on the streets during the snow parking ban that went into effect at midnight.

Third-shift patrol officers issued 108 parking ban violation tickets overnight, Capt. William Steck said. Traffic Division officers, who were brought in at 5 a.m., issued 125 violation tickets 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.

At 1 p.m., there had been few accidents or problems in the city, Steck said.

Part of a tree fell just south of 41 Chamberlain Highway in Berlin, near Bella’s Pizza, around 10:30 a.m. said acting Town Manager Jack Healy.

Because the road is also state Route 71, Healy said, the state Department of Transportation was called in to remove the tree.

No major incidents were reported in Berlin, Deputy Police Chief Christopher Ciuci said.

Newington was also quiet, Police Chief Stephen Clark said. “We had a couple of reports of low-hanging wires and no accidents,” Clark said.

A parking ban went into effect in Newington at noon and will continue until further notice, Clark said.

“The roads aren’t bad. There is more snow on the grass than the roads,” he said.

All area schools, including Tunxis Community College, were closed Tuesday in anticipation of the deteriorating conditions that never developed.

About 65 percent of flights at Bradley Airport had been canceled as of Tuesday morning and state officials urged residents to stay home.

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

State offices for first-shift employees were also closed, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced at around 7 a.m. Tuesday.

“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.

Snow began falling in central Connecticut by 4 a.m. WFSB-TV3 meteorologists Scot Haney and Mark Dixon said snowfall increased quickly in all but Central Connecticut, with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches per hour before 2 p.m.

WFSB-TV3 adjusted its forecast after two bands of heavy snow settled over Eastern and Western Connecticut while the center of the state saw mostly flurries and slush.

Malloy said the state Department of Transportation had 843 trucks on the road. Malloy also warned that ice could be a problem later in the day as temperatures drop.

The Metro North railroad was operating with delays, as were buses. Amtrak and Shoreline East trips were suspended for the day.

Storm issues had left about 2,300 customers around the state, or less than 1 percent, without power as of 11 a.m., Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross said, most of them in Eastern Connecticut.

An equipment failure cut power to 17 businesses in a strip mall on West Street in Southington for several hours. Service was restored by 2:15 p.m. Another outage affected about 50 customers in Plainville, but all have their power back. Eversource had restored power to 5,000 customers throughout the state by 2 p.m., Gross said.

Staff writers Skyler Frazer and Charles Paullin contributed to this story.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, New Britain, Plainville, Southington Herald on Tuesday, 13 March 2018 19:37. Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2018 19:39.