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Update, 5 a.m. Feb. 10
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has submitted a request to the White House asking for a presidential declaration of emergency for Connecticut.
Update: 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9
Governor Malloy today announced that the travel ban will be lifted at 4 p.m. This will apply to all roads, including limited access highways.
"While we are lifting the ban on travel this afternoon at 4PM, I still want to urge residents to stay off the roads if at all possible," said Governor Malloy. "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. "
Update, 12 p.m. Feb. 9:
Governor Malloy says cleanup from the historic blizzard could take "a number of days." [Full story here.]
The storm has been blamed on at least two deaths, one in Prospect in which an elderly woman was reportedly hit by a car while snow blowing her driveway, and a 49-year-old Shelton man died while shoveling his driveway.
A death in Danbury [noted in the updatebelow] may also be connected to the storm.
Update, 5:55 a.m. Feb. 9
Gov. 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.
Update, 5:30 a.m. Feb. 9
During the overnight hours of Friday into Saturday, the National Weather Service reports that snowfall rates of two to four inches per hour are expected. Low visibility and gusty winds make for unsafe travel conditions.
Saturday's Daytime Forecast: Snow likely, mainly before noon. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 25. Blustery, with a northwest wind 20 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Metro-North has also suspended all service until further notice.
Update, 3:45 p.m. Feb. 8:
A ban on motor vehicle travel on limited access highways in the State of Connecticut will take effect beginning at 4 p.m., Gov. Dannel P. Malloy just announced.
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, coordinated with Massachusetts and New York, will remain in effect until further notice.
Update, 1 p.m.
Check out this cool map, updated by the National Weather Service every 6 hours. Will be interesting to check it this afternoon to see just how many inches of snow Ridgefield has received.
Update, 12:30 p.m. Feb. 8:
First Selectman Rudy Marconi released this statement:
We would like residents to know that our Emergency Operations Team is prepared to assist residents in coping with the potential problems that may ensue. This blizzard is expected to produce white-out conditions with high winds that have the potential to cause power outages and driving challenges.
- State highways are subject to closure as early as 12 pm today per Governor Malloy’s instruction. Residents are asked to stay off all roads and shelter in place throughout the duration of the blizzard.
All Town business buildings as well as the Parks & Recreation Department closed today at 11 am.
If you have a cell phone, confirm that you will receive Town emergency Everbridge notices by logging onto www.ctalert.gov or follow directions on www.ridgefieldct.org to update your profile information.
As always, please call 911 in an emergency. All town highway and emergency operations personnel are standing by.
Update 11:30 a.m. Feb. 8:
Governor Dannel P. Malloy will declare a state of emergency in preparation for the coming blizzard which is anticipated to heavily impact the state Friday and Saturday.
Lmited access highways may be subject to closure as early as noon. Malloy is asking all residents to limit nonessential travel.
"People need to take this storm seriously," he said in a press release. "If current predictions are accurate, we will need people to stay off the roads so that emergency personnel and utility crews can get to the places they need to get to, and to make sure that our plows can keep critical roadways clear. Please stay home once the weather gets bad except in the case of real emergency."
Update 10:55 a.m. Feb. 8
The CT DMV and AAA offices are closed Saturday, Feb. 9, according to the DMV website. AAA offices statewide are closing at noon Friday for DMV transactions. The company will be taking calls for roadside assistance.
Update 9:45 a.m. Feb. 8:
The Crystal Ball on Saturday, Feb. 9, has been postponed to a later date. The Ridgefield Community Center at Historic Lounsbury House says, "We are sorry for any inconvenience and hope everyone stays warm and safe!"
The original report follows:
There's little doubt that Ridgefield will get hit with a snowstorm Friday night.
The National Weather Service as of 5 p.m. Thursday has issued a blizzard warning for the area, forecasting the snow to start early Friday morning. By Friday night, anywhere from a foot to 18 inches of snow could blanket Ridgefield.
Ridgefield Public Schools will be closed, the district announced Thursday afternoon.
First Selectman Rudy Marconi has sent out a list of reminders to residents to prepare for the storm. "This storm is expected to bring much snow and wind along with freezing rain, a combination that has the potential to knock out power," he said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
The Ridgefield Emergency Operations Team is in stand-by mode and recommends that residents do the following:
- Refill all necessary prescription medications to last for at least two weeks
- Take out your portable, battery-operated or hand-crank radio so that you can monitor local radio stations (WLAD-800AM, WREF-850AM, WCBS-880AM, WDAQ-98.3FM, WRKI-95.1FM)
- Check that flashlights have fresh batteries and extra batteries to last for one week. There may be no electricity after the storm; use of candles is not recommended for safety reasons.
- Purchase ice melt and sand for traction on walkways and driveways
- Confirm that you have sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off.
- Fill your vehicle gasoline tank. Gas stations may lose power after the storm.
- Confirm your supply of canned goods and non-perishable foods—enough for three days. Store packaged foods which can be prepared without cooking and need no refrigeration.
- Keep a supply of drinking water—enough for three days.
- If you have a cell phone, confirm that you will receive Town emergency Everbridge notices by logging onto www.ctalert.gov or follow directions on www.ridgefieldct.org to update your profile information.
- Plan ahead where your family will meet in an emergency and talk about how you will communicate, particularly if internet, phone and cell service are unavailable. Learn how to shut off the gas and water in your homes and how to use equipment such as generators safely.
For more information on how to plan for an emergency, go to www.ready.gov or download the free Red Cross App.
Got a cancellation for Friday? Post in the comments below and we'll keep a running list.
Check back with Patch for news on road conditions, school closures and power outages.
- Ridgefield Public Schools are closed Friday Feb. 8
- St. Luke's School in New Canaan will be closed as well.
- The Ridgefield Playhouse has postponed shows: Tomorrow night’s show with ANT is being postponed to Thursday, April 4. Our show with Johnny Winter this Saturday is being postponed to Thursday, May 9.
- The Aldrich Museum and the Katonah Museum of Art will be closed Friday.
- Hearts and Minds Music has cancelled their classes Friday and Saturday.
- Department of Motor Vehicles' offices statewide will be closed Friday and officials will determine after storm hits whether to open offices on Saturday for the usual morning hours.
- The Center For Advanced Pediatrics and Urgi-Kids In Ridgefield will be closed today, Friday, February 8th, says Marie Martell, Office Manager.
- The Crystal Ball is postponed.
- ROAR Animal Shelter will be closed today. "Our dedicated volunteers and staff are here making sure dogs are walked, and all the cats and dogs are warm and comfortable. For Saturday, we may remain closed or have a delayed opening; all depends on road/weather conditions."