6:58 p.m. update
New London roads remain closed to traffic, with Mayor Daryl Finizio urging residents to stay off the road to avoid delays in snow removal.
The warming shelter at the Senior Center will remain open until 9 p.m. It will also be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The American Red Cross has opened emergency shelters at East Lyme Middle School (37 Society Road) and Stonington High School (176 South Broad Street in Pawcatuck). Service animals are permitted at the shelters but pets are not. For updated information on the shelters, dial 2-1-1.
Power outages remain steady, with 2,512 New London CL&P customers without electricty at the last update.
3:50 p.m. update
Gov. Malloy has lifted the travel ban on state highways, effective at 4 p.m.
"While we are lifting the ban on travel this afternoon at 4 p.m., I still want to urge residents to stay off the roads if at all possible," Malloy said in a statement. "Crews are out clearing roadways as we speak, but the fact is we are going to feel the impact of this storm for some time. The longer we can keep traffic out of town centers and off of our highways, the more effective our recovery effort will be."
Mayor Daryl Finizio said a warming shelter will be open until 9 p.m. at the Senior Center. This is not to be considered an emergency shelter; see below for more information.
Update 2:10 p.m.
Government officials continue to ask residents to stay off the roads to give priority to snowplows and utility crews. Gov. Dannel Malloy said at a press conference today that cars stranded on state and local roads will prolong the effort.
“This is going to go on for a number of days,” said Malloy.
New London's roads remain closed, and several streets have not yet been cleared of snow. Mayor Daryl Finizio said the city is working to open the Martin Center as a warming center before nightfall, but that this will not serve as an emergency shelter. Anyone needing to evacuate should go to the regional shelter at the regional shelter at East Lyme Middle School, which is located at 31 Society Road. The city will also provide transportation to this shelter if residents call the Emergency Operations Center at 860-440-6642.
Events scheduled for tonight, including the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra concert and Hygienic XXXIV Rock Lobster Band-O-Matic, have been canceled or postponed.
Reported CL&P outages in New London have increased to 2,509, or 18 percent of CL&P customers in the city. A total of 37,491 customers are affected statewide, about 3 percent of the total.
Residents are asked to shovel out fire hydrants near their homes and make sure any generators are properly ventilated. Other appliance vents, such as those for dryers, should be cleared to avoid carbon monoxide buildup.
Saturday 9:35 a.m. update
The National Weather Service says "the historic storm is winding down."
Gov. Dannel Malloy has ordered all roads closed. A New London road closure remains in effect and residents are asked to stay off the roads due to downed wires and plowing efforts.
Mayor Daryl Finizio said CL&P has 34 line crews and 16 tree crews in New London and that power restoration efforts should begin this afternoon once the snow has stopped falling. Finizio said that after consulting with Public Works Director Tim Hanser and crew chiefs, he authorized the hiring of private contractors to assist with snow removal. All union members are also being contacted to assist with this effort if they are available.
At its latest report, 38,310 CL&P customers in Connecticut (three percent of the total) were without electricity. This includes 1,826 customers in New London. Outages should be reported to CL&P at 860-947-2000.
As of 4 a.m., the NWS says the blizzard warning is in effect until noon Saturday.
- Gilman: 27 inches at 6 a.m.
- Norwich: 25 inches at 6 a.m.
- Colchester: 25 inches at 6 a.m.
- Gales Ferry: 24 inches at 10:45 a.m.
- Lisbon: 23 inches at 8:45 a.m.
- Ledyard Center: 22 inches at 10:45 a.m.
- Mystic Seaport: 21 inches at 11 a.m.
- Stonington: 15 inches at 9 a.m.
Here's Gov. Malloy's statement about closing the roads:
Governor Malloy has ordered all roads in Connecticut closed until further notice. This traffic ban extends to all vehicles except for those emergency response and recovery vehicles with the capacity to maneuver in heavy snow. "It's critical right now that residents stay off the roads, so that our plows can continue their efforts to clear our streets and highways," said Governor Malloy. "This is a record setting storm. It's going to take time to dig out of the snow. Stalled or abandoned vehicles will only slow that process. Unless you face an emergency, please stay put." Notice of the travel ban was sent over the state's Emergency Broadcast System.
Marcy Reed, president of National Grid, said failures could last several days because repairs would not begin until the storm ended and would require unearthing power lines buried under mounds of snow.
Stonington and East Lyme were among the areas hardest hit in Connecticut, with more than 4,000 customers, or 50 percent of the town, without power in Stonington, and 7,652 without power in East Lyme, or 80 percent of the total CL&P customers in town.
The National Weather Service is reporting that snow accumulations in some areas are up to 36 inches. As of 5 a.m., north winds from 15 to 25 mph were gusting upto 40 mph. Temperatures were in the lower 20s. "The strongest winds and heaviest snow will occur through daybreak ... travel is not recommended this morning as many roads are impassable with numerous reports of closed roads and stranded cars."
8:30 p.m. update
CL&P is reporting six percent of its New London customers, or 897 properties, are without electricity. A total of 19,908 customers statewide, or one percent overall, are without power. Outages should be reported to CL&P at (860) 947-2000.
6:20 p.m. update
Mayor Daryl Finizio says the city's Emergency Operations Center has been activated and will be staffed overnight to respond to issues related to the storm. Anyone who has a question about storm response or wishes to report an issue should contact the center at 860-440-6642.
Heavy snowfall overnight means that the parking ban rules remain in effect and streets remain closed.
As of 6:15 p.m., power outages remained minimal with less than one percent of Connecticut Light & Power customers without electricity and no New London residents affected.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning and coastal flood advisory for New London. Winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and gusts of up to 60 miles per hour are expected, while snow accumulation will be 18-24 inches.
Finizio said a conference call with the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security indicated that blizzard conditions will continue into Saturday and snow accumulation may reach two to three feet in eastern Connecticut with 40 inches in isolated areas. Accumulation is predicted to occur at a rate of three to five inches per hour.
3:41 p.m. update
Gov. Dannel Malloy has announced a travel ban on the state's limited access highways, effective at 4 p.m. Malloy says the ban does not affect traffic such as emergency and utility vehicles or vehicles carrying essential personnel or supplies.
“As the weather gets worse over the next few hours, we need to keep the roads clear, so that emergency-related personnel and utility crews can reach those that may need our help,” Malloy said in a statement. “By traveling in these conditions, you are not only putting yourself in danger, but you are potentially risking the lives of first responders, utility workers and other residents. Please be safe.”
2:30 p.m. update
Mayor Daryl Finizio has announced that New London streets will be closed at 4 p.m. per the recommendation of the Public Works logistics director.
SEAT service was discontinued at 2 p.m. Saturday service is anticipated to start at noon. Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that CT Transit service will start shutting down at 4 p.m. and all buses will stop running at 6 p.m.
Crystal Mall has closed for the day.
Mayor Daryl Finizio has announced a state of emergency in New London, urging residents to stay off the roads and businesses to consider closing due to weather conditions.
Finizio said he made the declaration following a conference call with Gov. Dannel Malloy as well as the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. He said forecasts show possible snow accumulation of 36-40 inches over the next two days as well as wind gusts of 60 miles per hour.
Finizio partially activated the city's Emergency Operations Center on Thursday and requested a liaison from Connecticut Light & Power. He said representatives from utility companies have indicated that they expect up to 30 percent of customers to lose power during the blizzard and that power restoration may take several days.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has declared a Connecticut state of emergency and is considering state road closures.
A parking ban went into effect at midnight and will be in place until the storm has passed. Find out more about winter parking rules in this article. Non-essential city offices and schools are closed today.
Other closings and delays that have been announced due to the storm:
- Bradley International Airport is all commercial flights as of 1:30 p.m. Air traffic at the airport is not expected to resume until mid-morning or the afternoon on Saturday
- Cross Sound Ferry has canceled all service for today and Saturday
- Lawrence & Memorial Hospital's outpatient services and physician offices are closing at noon.
- The Public Library of New London will be closed today; patrons may call the library to check on weekend hours
- The New London Housing Authority's administrative office is closed this afternoon and will reopen on Monday
- The Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Connecticut is canceling activities today
- Skate For Babies at Connecticut College has been postponed from Saturday until March 2.
- Safe Futures' administrative offices and walk-in counseling are closed this afternoon. The 24-hour hotline remains open at 860-701-6000.
- Connecticut College is closing administrative offices today, and the athletic facilities will close at 4 p.m. The college has canceled an OnStage performance scheduled for tonight and an athletic hall of fame induction ceremony scheduled for Saturday. Students should check with professors on class cancellations; updated campus cancellations will be posted here
- Mitchell College will be closed today and Saturday
- Amtrak is limiting Friday service, with Acela southbound service suspended after the 1:15 p.m. departure from Boston and northbound service suspended after the 1:03 p.m. departure from New York; Northeast Regional service will be suspended after the 1:40 p.m. departure from Boston and 12:30 p.m. departure from New York. Determinations on Saturday service will be made on Friday
- The Lyman Allyn Art Museum will be closed today
- The Custom House Maritime Museum has canceled all Friday through Sunday activies, including the Deborah O'Connor silhouettes and Marcus Rediker talk on the Amistad; both events will be rescheduled
- The Monte Cristo Bookshop has canceled its Susan Epstein and Bernice Rocque events; the Epstein event has been moved to March 23, while a new date on the Rocque event will be determined
- New London Youth Affairs has canceled its Friday playgroup
- The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus has canceled its Friday rehearsal; a Saturday concert of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra is still taking place