CT’s first winter storm brings more snow than expected and slippery roads to Greater New Haven

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Communities in the area received more snow than expected overnight Friday, with residents welcomed up to 10.5 inches in some areas.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker at a Friday morning press conference said the city received eight to nine inches of snow as of 8 a.m., more than the expected four to six inches. Thursday evening.

“The good thing is the snow is really fluffy and it comes off well, but it’s obviously more than we expected,” said Elicker. “Overall, our teams have worked pretty hard through the night, and we ask people to be patient while we get there. “


The city has around 40 vehicles to clean the roads, Elicker said. While some public works staff are absent, emergency management director Rick Fontana said the city has filled the gaps with sanitation and waste workers. The teams had been away since 11 p.m. Thursday, said general manager Regina Rush-Kittle, and worked through the night.

“We really want to thank the public for staying off the road,” Fontana said, noting that over an inch of snow was falling per hour around 3 a.m. “We will continue to work. We are just trying to open the roads at this particular time. As the mayor mentioned, we will continue. It is likely that the snow operations will continue over the weekend.”

New Haven Police responded to 295 calls between midnight and 7 a.m., but only one car crash, Police Lt. Stephan Torquati said.

“(It’s) huge – an exceptional effort by the City of New Haven to stay off the road,” Torquati said.

Elicker reminded residents to clear the sidewalk in front of their homes, which is both legally required in New Haven and “the compassionate thing to do for your neighbors,” as well as the entrance to their driveways.

A parking ban in the city will be in effect until 5 p.m., he said, instead of 3 p.m. as originally planned, due to additional snowfall. The extra time would be particularly important to allow teams to address the city center, facilitating access and commerce, he said.

By 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service, Madison had received the most snow in the greater New Haven area, with about 10.9 inches on the ground. In Branford and Guilford, 10.5 inches had been reported; in North Haven, 9.5 inches; Milford and New Haven received nine inches; 7.5 inches had fallen to Seymour.

“Looks like we’re going to get between 8 and 14 inches at North Haven – higher than we expected,” said Michael Freda, North Haven head coach.

Plows had been on the roads since early Friday morning, he said, but he expected the process to be slower than usual as two drivers were released with COVID-19.

“Today we will spend all day plowing. All the roads will be done, it’s just going to take a little longer, ”said Freda.

Some residents might also spot garbage trucks behind the snow plows.

“We kept to the sanitation collection schedule,” said Freda. “The road that must be taken today for remediation is actually to follow the snow removal trucks in this area. “

Recyclable materials will be picked up afterwards, he said, adding that there had been delays.

As officials aim to collect everything from the planned pickup areas, Freda said, it is possible that some items will be missing.

If this happens, residents should leave them outside overnight.

“Anything not picked up today from the specific areas provided will be done tomorrow morning,” Freda said.

In East Haven, Mayor Joseph Carfora said efforts to deal with the snow were largely going well, but staff absences due to coronavirus had slowed the process somewhat. Seven public works employees, or 30% of the department’s workforce, were absent on Friday, he said.

“(We) ask residents to stay in their homes if they can,” Carfora said in a statement. “It takes our staff a bit longer to get to some routes due to understaffing and most drivers do double duty. “

West Haven Director of Public Works Tom McCarthy said he expects the city to “reach asphalt” by early afternoon.

“It was a bit more production than anyone expected,” he said.

McCarthy said his department has been hit by many of the same virus-related staff shortages as other departments “but we don’t have any idle trucks.” He encouraged residents to stay off the roads unless necessary to help the city clear the roads faster.

In Hamden, where public works workers had been working since midnight, a new team was to take over at noon, according to a 10 a.m. Facebook post from Mayor Lauren Garrett.

“The main roads are pretty clear, although the interior roads need more cleaning,” Garrett advised residents. “If you have to go out, drive safely. Be careful when shoveling and if you have a fire hydrant nearby, please clean the area around the fire hydrant. Sidewalks must be shoveled within 24 hours of the storm ending.

In Branford, First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove noted, “Our labor pool is definitely under the same pressure as other communities. Workers who are sick, some are due to COVID while others suffer from colds and flu, he said. Seasonal part-time workers were called in and each driver made a longer trip.

“The team is out and just rolling, it cleans up pretty quickly, now the snow is fading,” said Cosgrove.

Branford has 120 miles of road and snow crews started early around 3 a.m., he said.

“You come in with anticipation with a forecast of about 3 inches, and then it started to rise and definitely got past that,” he said. “I’m looking at the Green and it really looks more like 5-7 inches.”

At Old Saybrook, Public Works Manager Larry Bonin said he had lost a worker and brought in a subcontractor from B&L Construction to help him plow. Police informed Bonin that the roads were getting slippery around 3:30 a.m. when the pavement was icy with snow.

“This morning the roads were horrible,” he said.

This is the first big storm of the new year, Bonin noted and said, “I call it a practice – this is our dress rehearsal” for the rest of the season.

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