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Stay Off The Roads: Malloy Urges Caution As Storm Cleanup Continues

Snow was falling steadily at Hackley Street and Harbor Avenue in Bridgeport Thursday morning.
Snow was falling steadily at Hackley Street and Harbor Avenue in Bridgeport Thursday morning. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Connecticut has managed to weather Thursday’s snowstorm with relatively few accidents or problems, though people should continue to use caution, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said during an afternoon press briefing.

The state’s emergency operations center is active and monitoring the storm. As of 12:30 p.m. state police had received 601 calls for assistance and responded to 68 accidents, including four with injuries. There were no fatalities, Malloy said.

The state continues to experience heavy snowfall, including near blizzard conditions in some areas, with snowfall rates as high as three inches per hour. He said the snow itself has been quite heavy in some areas, and that there will be very cold air and relatively high winds.

Low visibility is also a problem. Malloy asked drivers to stay off the roads if they could avoid it.

“For those who do need to travel, remember your winter driving skills,” he said. Drive slowly, leave plenty of space between cars, be careful going up hills, and don’t drive if you haven’t changed your tires in a couple years.

Bus service was suspended, as well as Amtrak service between New Haven and Springfield. Malloy said that he hopes that bus service will be restored later today or in the evening, though he stressed that was a goal, not a guarantee. He urged commuters who took a bus to work should leave immediately if a bus is still available to them.

The state has 633 plow trucks out on the roads, and 248 contract plows working to clear roads. Drivers should stay clear of plows.

Airports have had a number of cancelations, and those flying should check the status of their flight ahead of time. Bradley Airport temporarily closed for cleanup and will reopen after snow has moved through the area.

Malloy said he does not anticipate having to issue a travel ban, and expects state offices will reopen Friday. Colleges and the judicial system will make their own judgments on whether they will open, which will largely depend on whether parking lots can be cleared.

The Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen Friday morning, though it will be closed Saturday and Monday for Lincoln’s Birthday. Anyone who needed to renew a license or registration Thursday will have until the end of the day Wednesday.

Overall things have operated smoothly. In a conference call with 180 municipal leaders, there were no requests for state assistance, Malloy said. The utility companies have not had major issues. UI has seen fewer than 100 outages, 40 of which were in one condominium complex. Eversource had about 1,600 outages, 700 of which were in one incident in Norwalk, though those had been restored by 1 p.m.

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