This story has been updated to include information from Governor Dannel Malloy’s office.
The Office of the First Selectman has issued an announcement, urging all residents to be prepared for a snowstorm that arrived in the area during the early morning hours. The public schools have already announced an early dismissal for this afternoon, and parents should have been alerted by now that there will be no afternoon preschool.
“The latest information we have is to expect 6-10 inches, mostly falling during the evening and overnight hours,” said the notice. “Our advice, as always, is to stay home and off the roads unless circumstances absolutely dictate otherwise.”
A few points from First Selectman Pat Llodra:
*In case of an emergency, call 911;
*Town offices will have a delayed opening on Friday, January 3. Time to be determined by conditions.
*Public Works and Parks & Recreation crews are fully scheduled for plowing.
*Park all vehicles away from road-sides and out of the travel portions of roadways so that roads can be plowed efficiently and safely.
*Take care when shoveling to not over-exert.
*Be aware of slippery sidewalks/roads if out and about after the snowfall.
Connecticut Light & Power does not expect significant power problems during this storm. CL&P service trucks are staged at Fairfield Hills campus, but only as a precaution.
To report an outage, call 800-286-2000 or visit www.cl-p.com.
CL&P is also issuing its own reminders. In the event of outages, all residents should stay away from downed wires. Proper generator use is also important. For safety tips, go to www.cl-p.com.
For restoration updates, visit the Storm Center at www.cl-p.com.
Latest From National Weather Service
Newtown, and all of Fairfield County, will remain under a National Weather Service (NWS) Winter Storm Warning until 1 pm Friday, January 3.
Southern Connecticut and most of the lower Hudson Valley may see snow and blowing snow, with accumulations of 6-10 inches, winds of 10-20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph, and wind chills fall to near zero by Thursday night and -5 to -15 below zero on Friday, as a result of this as-yet-unnamed storm. Visibilities are expected to be one quarter of a mile or less at times.
Light snow is expected to continue in Newtown until approximately 2 pm, according to NWS. Skies will remain cloudy, with northeast winds of 10-14 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation is expected to be “around an inch.”
The heaviest snow will be coming tonight into Friday morning. NWS is predicting “snow with widespread blowing snow … could be heavy at times. Low around 8. Wind chill values as low as –1.” The weather services says the region could be impacted with 4 to 8 inches of snow between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.
Friday will continue with more snow and winds, with another 1-2 inches of snow possible during the day.
At 8:53 am January 2, the NWS was continuing to monitor a “winter storm to impact much of the Eastern US … [with] Arctic air set to infiltrate the Northeast in the wake of the system.” The storm, the weather service said, will impact areas from the Appalachians into New England.”
“Precipitation will continue to expand and push eastward today along and ahead of a frontal boundary draped from the Mid-Atlantic back toward the lower Mississippi Valley,” NWS reported Thursday morning. “In the Gulf Mexico, another frontal boundary is slowly lifting northward, helping to spread rain through the Southeast.
“These two areas will merge off the East Coast later tonight and will coalesce into a rapidly deepening system just southeast of New England. With cold air in place to the north and northwest of the low center, light to moderate snow is expected.
“Parts of southern New England and eastern/southeastern NY may experience a period of heavy snow with blustery winds as the low pressure deepens but pulls away from the coast very early Friday, making travel difficult between New York and Boston.”
From The State Capitol
With a winter storm and bitter cold temperatures expected over the next few days, Governor Dannel P. Malloy is urging residents to take it slow and avoid travel during the height of the storm Thursday night. He has also directed the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to coordinate with 211 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable people are protected from the severe cold weather.
“I am asking residents to use caution as they head out for their Thursday and Friday commutes and give yourself some extra time to get to your destination,” Governor Malloy said January 1. “I am also asking that you avoid travel during the height of the storm Thursday night.
“We are also taking steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter,” he also said Wednesday. “I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 211 and encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.”
Under the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, DEMHS activates its WebEOC communications network — an Internet-based system that allows local, regional and state emergency management officials and first responders to share up-to-date information about a variety of situations and conditions. The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters across the state, enabling 211 to act as a clearinghouse to assist in finding shelter space for those who need it.
Gov Malloy plans to hold a news briefing late Thursday afternoon at the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Hartford to provide updates on the state’s preparations for tonight’s forecasted winter storm and severe cold outbreak. The governor will also partially activate the EOC beginning at 4 pm.
Following a call Thursday morning with the state’s unified command, the governor has asked the DEMHS to communicate with municipal leaders on the importance of finding shelters for at-risk members of their communities. The state is also coordinating transportation services to locate those in need of shelter and bring them to designated facilities.
“Partially activating the State Emergency Operations Center will allow us to quickly respond to any problems that may arise and coordinate any resources that may be needed across the state as we head into the height of the storm tonight,” said Gov Malloy. “In addition to the winter storm, we are also warning residents to be prepared for a severe cold weather outbreak.”
On Wednesday, the governor directed the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to work with the state’s social services agency to activate the state severe cold weather protocol, “which enables us to help our most vulnerable populations access sheltering,” he said Thursday morning. Anyone in Connecticut in need of shelter can call 211 for help.