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Updated: Schools Closed But Business as Usual at Town Hall Monday

Residents continue to dig out from storm that dumped 30 inches, shut down travel, and caused widespread power outages.

Please scroll down for all cancellations, posted as we receive them.

Update at 5:45 p.m.

Montville Public Schools and Saint Bernard School will be closed today.

Montville Mayor Ron McDaniel said it's business as usual as Town Hall with everything on schedule.

Gov. Malloy says nonessential state employees should stay home today as the clean up effort continues. However, evening and midnight shift employees should report to work as normal on Monday.

“Getting streets clear and making them safer for everyone is a priority, so I am asking nonessential state employees to stay home tomorrow,” Malloy said. 

Update at 1:50 p.m.

CL&P is now reporting that just 20 households in Montville are without power, far less than the 1,560 on Saturday. 

Update Sunday, Feb. 10 at 9 a.m.

Montville has seen significant power restoration; more than 1,000 households have been restored since Saturday evening, according to the CL&P outage map. 

There remain many roadways still in need of plowing; Montville Department of Public Works crews will keep plowing until all roads are done. 

According to the town website, the transfer station, which has been closed since Friday at noon, re-opens today. 

 

Last Saturday night update:

Following around the clock road work by Montville and state snow plow crews to clear roads, utility crews managed to restore power to hundreds of households Saturday night taking Montville back to Friday and early Saturday totals — 6 percent out as opposed to the near 20 percent late Saturday. 

The Sunday forecast calls for sun and temperatures in the mid 30s. 

UPDATE at 6:25 p.m.

Gov. Malloy today submitted a request for a presidential emergency declaration in the wake of Friday’s historic winter storm. If granted, the emergency declaration will provide for direct federal assistance, including possible snow removal equipment and personnel, power generation, and other commodities.  An emergency declaration does not provide federal disaster funding.  Because it appears that most if not all counties have received record or near record snowfall, it is anticipated that a preliminary damage assessment will be conducted to determine if those counties are eligible for a major disaster declaration.


 UPDATE at 4:50 p.m.

CL&P spokesman says southeastern Connecticut won't see power restored until late Sunday or Monday.

UPDATE at 1:50 p.m.

The CL&P outage map is now showing we're nearly at 20 percent without power; 1,559 out of 7,990 households. 

UPDATE at 12:50 p.m. 

Instead of the numbers going down, the number of households now without power in Montville has increased, according to the CL&P outage map. More than 11 percent of the 7990 CL&P customers here — or 912 households — are now without power. Earlier today less than 6 percent of homes were out. 

UPDATE at 10:45 a.m.:

From Emergency Management Director Ray Occhialini:

When asked what the biggest concern is for Montville, he said, "the roads," and is peleading for residents to remain in their homes.

"Please, stay home. There are cars in the road. It’s terrible out here. There are cars abandoned on Old Colchester. Please people stay home."

From Montville Mayor Ron McDaniel:

"All our equipment is out. We’re starting to make progress, but (in terms of) power outages, we have no estimates." McDaniel does not have power at his home, he said.

And he too is urging people not to leave their homes, “I urge people to stay home adding that tow trucks “cannot get out to get you.”

McDaniel said with 30 inches of snow, “ this is significant. We’ve had this much snow before, but never in one event since ’78.”

UPDATE at 7:45 a.m.

Emergency Management Director Ray Occhialini and Ed Shafer, deputy director slept for a couple of hours at the Emergency Operations Center at Town Hall, on the floor, in a chair, overnight. They have been monitoring calls, and receiving information from the state, CL&P and department of transportation.

Here's the latest:

Travel: There is no travel permitted on any roads, as ordered by Gov. Dannel Malloy "until further notice."

Power outages: 654 are without power, according to the CL&P outage map, although many more may be without power, but, as we have pointed out before, they don't know if you don't let them know. Call (860) 947-2000 | (800)286-2000. Occhialini said the accident we reported last night near 220 Raymond Hill Road — where someone hit a tree which fell and knocked out power — is in part responsible, but other pockets too are without electricity since last night including the Lake and Riverview areas. 

Regional Shelter: Will open at East Lyme Middle School on Society Road at 8. 

Snow amounts: Occhialini said his best estimate is 28-29 inches.

Shoveling and plowing: Here is the big concern: People are burying fire hydrants in snow which make them nearly impossible for fire crews to located, so please do not bury hydrants. And, please don't shovel or plow snow back into roadways. 

"The plow drivers took a break from 12 to 4 a.m. but they've been back out there since. There's a lot to plow; they're doing the best they can. It's going to take a long time to move all this," Occhialini said.

Dangers: Occhialini cautions that people must dig out vents to avoid the danger of CO2 backups into homes. Be careful, folks.

The storm is far from over, Occhialini said, and with temperatures excepted to plummet for Sunday and more snow predicted for early next week, "people need to be patient and careful."

Update at 12:10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9

Nearly 700 households — or 8 percent of all customers — were without power just before 12 midnight, according to the CL&P Outage Map. 

A number of accidents were reported and at least two downed power lines. Updates will be available on the total number of accidents and other storm-related incidents later this morning. 

Update at 9:25 p.m.

All train service suspended — Metro North, Amtrak and Shoreline East.

Update at 8:30 p.m.

From a Weather Channel 'Tweet:' Spotters report 12.5" of snow in Montville in southeast Connecticut - the highest total we've seen so far from #Nemo. Check it out at @TWCBreaking

Update at 7:35 p.m.:

Montville Emergency Management director Ray Occhialini is reporting on his Facebook page that an accident near 220 Raymond Hill has closed the roadway. A car hit a tree and the tree is on the power line."

Also, he reports that Pink Row by Faria Corp., a wire is down and that has caused a detour. He said it appeared as if there were already a foot of snow. He was out on a call and found that "visiblity is bad."

And according to comments on Montville Patch Facebook page (Check it out! And Like it!) in addition to the outages on the CL&P map -- 282 households, or 3 percent -- there are a number of streets without power. Tell us if that's you in the comments!

UPDATE at 5:40 p.m.:

Gov. Malloy ordered that all expiration dates and periods of validity for motor vehicle registrations, licenses, permits, certificates and other forms of credentials issued by or on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles be immediately extended until further notice due to the impact of the severe snow storm affecting the region.

Motor vehicle deadlines and expiration dates will be extended to a date that has yet to be determined.

UPDATE at 5:30 p.m.:

Blizzard warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. Saturday for southern Connecticut. Temperatures in the mid 20s by this evening, the National Weather Service is reporting. Expect very heavy snow with accumulations of 18 to 24 inches. Expect strong winds north 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. The strongest winds and heaviest snow will occur this evening into Saturday morning – all night. Winds may cause the downing of trees, tree limbs and power lines causing power outages.

Visibility will be one-quarter mile or less including near zero white-out conditions.

All of these conditions make travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel, but if you must, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.

UPDATE at 3:40 p.m.

Gov. Malloy just announced a ban on motor vehicle travel on limited access highways beginning at 4 p.m.  These prohibitions do not extend to emergency response and recovery vehicles, including public safety vehicles, utility vehicles, and 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.  “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.”

The travel ban will remain in effect until further notice.

The State of Connecticut coordinated the travel ban with Massachusetts and New York.


UPDATE at 2:10 p.m.

From CL&P: 

"As snow falls quickly across all of Connecticut, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) is prepared to address any storm-related power outages.  With record-breaking snowfall and high winds predicted, downed tree limbs pose a significant threat to the company’s electric system.  Customers are encouraged to prepare for prolonged outages as a result of the storm.   

CL&P is pre-staging employees and materials in locations across the state, and is preparing vehicles by adding tire chains, to travel safely across slippery roads in poor visibility conditions. In addition to CL&P’s approximately 400 line workers, hundreds of outside line workers are arriving to provide assistance, with hundreds more expected tomorrow."

 

Update at 10:50 a.m. 

From Emergency Management Director Raymond Occhialini:

 “The governor said all state highways are ‘subject’ to close at 12 p.m. noon. In terms of the weather, they’re predicting 2 to 36 inches in Eastern CT with moderate snow at noon, heavy by 1 p.m. They’re saying sustained winds of 25 to 35 with gusts of 40; but by tonight, gusts of 60 MPH with 3 to 5 inches per hours of snowfall. Regional shelters not open until after storm, if needed at all for extended power outages.”

Updated at 6:40 a.m. 

The National Weather Service is reporting the blizzard will bring with it sustained northeast winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph, 60 to 65 over our neck of the woods; southeast Connecticut.

 

Updated at 12:10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, 2013

From Governor Dannel Malloy:

Nonessential state employees should stay home today in advance of the coming blizzard.  However, evening and midnight shift employees should report to work as normal on Friday.

The Governor also announced that he will fully activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Friday at 9 a.m. to continue coordinating the state’s response to the storm.

“Based on the forecasts we’re looking at now, I am asking nonessential state employees to remain at home on Friday,” Malloy said.  “If the worst-case scenario plays out, we will need roads clear for emergency personnel and utility crews.  But even under the best of circumstances, it appears at this point that the best coarse of action is to keep people off the roads.  Whether you’re a state employee or not, if you can stay home and off the roads tomorrow, please do so.”

In addition, following a series of unified command meetings and municipal conference calls, the Governor will hold two media briefings from the state EOC on Friday – the first at 12 p.m., followed by another at 6 p.m.

Update at 6:40 p.m. Feb. 7

Town offices with the exception of Emergency Services will be closed Friday. 

UPDATE at 5:22 p.m. Feb. 7

Montville Public Schools will be closed Friday Feb. 8 and there will be no after-school activities.

UPDATE at 4:04 p.m. 2/7

The National Weather Service has upgraded its alert on the blizzard barreling toward us from a watch, meaning the potential exists, to a warning, which means the storm is imminent.

UPDATE at 3:45 p.m. 2/7

Montville Emergency Management Director Raymond Occhialini provided Montville Patch with an update on storm preparations. 

Occhialini said the storm will be monitored throughout the day Friday and the town's Emergency Operations Center will remain open throughout the night Friday and into Saturday, until the storm is over.

Occhialini said there are extra paid firefighters on duty in the event they are needed. He said the town "public works crews are ready to go."

Occhialini said he has been in contact with the Red Cross and regional shelter partners in the event the need to open a shelter arises; however he said "historically no one came to our shelter prior or during a snow storm (blizzard)."

Occhialini said that if the storm produces two to three inches of snow per hour, as some forecasts predict, "plow trucks will be located at the fire stations to clear the way to the emergency for us, this worked very well in the past, we can talk to them on our high band radio system to direct them efficiently."

Occhialini said the town has "had email conversations with CL&P, they are bringing in out of state crews on a mutual aid basis."

He also suggested, as has Montville Patch, that "people should go to www.ready.gov to get helpful information concerning preparedness."

Occhialini will be posting updates -- and Montville Patch Facebook will be sharing each and every one of them -- on the Montville EM Facebook and Twitter, which is linked to @montvilleEM on Twitter. 

 

UPDATE at 12:07 p.m. 2/7:

CL&P and United Illuminating, the state's two major utilities, say they are gearing up for the storm. Spokesmen at both companies said the major concern is the high winds the storm is expected to bring - gusts of up to 60 MPH - and the possibility that warm air pushing up from the south could mean a heavy, wetter snow in some regions.

"We've already held a few internal meetings and storm-team calls and we're reaching out to external resources," said Micheal West, UI's spokesman. "All of our UI crews will be available" throughout the weekend, he added.

Mitch Gross, CL&P's spokesman said his utility has issued an "all hands on deck" alert to its workers, is holding meetings throughout the today with workers and expect to have "hundreds and hundreds" of workers on duty to deal with outages that could occur this weekend.

Gross, however, cautioned that crews will not be able to restore power during the storm or when the winds are high because of the dangers that could create.

"Our line workers and tree workers will be out there as long as it's safe," he added.

But, he said, the utility is also urging its customers to be ready for the storm. CL&P has storm preparedness tips on its website, as does the American Red Cross. 

UPDATE at 11:25 a.m. 2/7

The Town of Montville has announced that a parking ban going will be effect from Friday February 8, 2013 at 12:00 am until Sunday February 10, 2013 until 12:00 am.

UPDATE at 6:55 a.m. 2/7

Mayor Ron McDaniel said the town is preparing for the worst with the forecasted blizzard. He said the town's "public works department is ready to go" for plowing and clearing roadways.

McDaniel said he will make a decision later today about possible closure of Town Hall Friday, or at least a possible half-day schedule. 

McDaniel said a town-wide parking ban will go into effect tonight. 

The mayor has asked residents that have portable basketball hoops to "drag them in;" the apparatus can often get in the way of plowing and are easily blown around. 

And Montville Patch will be checking in with Montville Emergency Management director Ray Occhialini all day to keep folks updated on storm preparation.

UPDATE at 6:20 a.m. 2/7

Be ready! 

Make sure you have candles, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and cell phones because you might lose electricity and phone service for a few days or even weeks. 

Original Story:

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for Montville as a powerful winter storm is expected to affect the region starting Thursday night and lasting well into Saturday morning.

The blizzard watch will be effect from Friday afternoon and continue through to Saturday afternoon.

The storm system is expected to bring with it heavy snow, sleet and damaging winds — with gusts blowing up in excess of 60 miles per hour.

And is expected to deliver some 18 to 24 inches of snow right here along the shoreline, as well as possible traces of ice.

The high winds and heavy snow is expected to make for at times white out conditions, with visibility reduced to less than a quarter of a mile.

"The heavy snow will make for dangers driving conditions," the weather service meteorologists report in their alert. "In addition, the heavy snow and strong winds will result in blizzard conditions, bringing down some tree limbs and causing scattered power outages."

A winter storm watch that had been issued earlier this week has now been cancelled, with the blizzard watch issued in its place.

A great place to begin when making storm preparations, check the state Emergency Preparedness manual.

CANCELLATIONS:

All CT DMV offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday!

Montville BOE Budget Workshop originally scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m.

Montville Public Schools will be closed Friday Feb. 8 and there will be no after-school activities AND Monday Feb. 11

Saint Bernard School will be closed.

Town offices with the exception of Emergency Services will be closed Friday. 

No school-related activities Saturday, Feb. 9

DMV offcies to be closed Saturday

Montville Transfer Station closes at 12 noon Friday

All commercial airline traffic will be suspended as of 1:30 p.m. Friday and is not expected to resume until mid-to-late morning on Saturday. Bradley airport will remain open as long as airport personnel are not in harms way.  Passengers are encouraged to contact their specific airline for more details about the next scheduled flights. Phone lines are jammed right now so the best way to get information about a flight is through the airline's website, Facebook or Twitter pages. 

CT TRANSIT bus service will begin shutting down service at 4PM today, and all buses will stop running by 6PM.  This shut down will be in effect for the entire state until further notice.


-- 

Raymond Occhialini February 09, 2013 at 02:09 AM
Mother Nature is mad at us in Montville, she has been punishing us lately

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