The busy Northeast corridor was in line for a winter wallop that was predicted to bring anywhere from a few inches to a couple of feet of snow from northern New Jersey to Maine. Snowfall is heavy but less than predicted in many places. (Jan. 27)
HARTFORD, Connecticut — A fierce nor'easter delivered as promised for some parts of Connecticut, leaving behind as much as 2 feet of snow in eastern pockets of the state, although many were spared the storm's worst. On Tuesday, power outages were minimal, a travel ban was lifted and people began digging out from the season's first major winter storm. Here are some things to know about the storm.
SNOW JACKPOT IN EASTERN CONNECTICUT
Towns in eastern Connecticut caught the brunt of the snowfall, with 25 inches in Plainfield and 23 inches in Waterford, according to the National Weather Service. Some of the hardest-hit towns have asked the state for help in clearing snow. Towns in western Connecticut reported less than 6 inches of snow, far below the amounts forecast. The weather service said the snow is expected to taper off in eastern Connecticut by 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.
Despite fears that the storm could knock out power to more than 100,000 customers in the state, outages were minimal. Connecticut Light & Power warned customers Monday that the storm could bring down power lines and knock out electricity, but it reported only a few scattered outages in the state by Tuesday afternoon. Al Lara, a spokesman for CL&P parent company Northeast Utilities, said the snow was light and powdery, posing little threat to power lines that typically come down under ice or wet and heavy snow. One early morning outage, affecting more than 500 customers, was the result of a plow truck hitting a utility pole in Middletown.
The governor lifted the travel ban on state highways at 2 p.m., 17 hours after it went into effect. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said people stayed off the roads as instructed overnight and there were only about a dozen traffic accidents after the ban took effect, with only one injury. Dozens of flights were canceled Tuesday at Bradley International Airport, and a dozen flights on Wednesday were canceled, according to FlightAware.com. The Metro-North Railroad was operating on a Sunday schedule.
Plow truck driver Larry Messier, 60, dealt with 3-foot snow drifts Tuesday morning as he tried to drive from Columbia to Lebanon in eastern Connecticut. "My plow was hitting it. It was covering my windshield, and I stopped," he said. "It was bad."
As he was out plowing driveways, he said, the snow was falling so quickly that a road that had been freshly plowed at 3 a.m. had about 8 inches of snow on it by daybreak.
"At 4 o'clock this morning, it was the worst I've ever seen it," he said. "You could plow, and then 5 minutes later you'd have to plow again."
Officials in Pomfret asked the state for help in plowing local roads because wind was blowing snow back onto the streets shortly after local plows had cleared them, First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson said.
FUN FOR SOME:
Burnie Thompson, 18, spent Tuesday morning making snowmobile trails with friends on the fields behind his home in Mansfield. He usually works at his family's feed and supply store, but it was closed because of the weather.
"We got out and shoveled a path to our horses and fed the horses, and then we hopped on the snowmobiles and made our way through the powder," he said. "It is pretty rough riding, mostly deep powder, so it was pretty hard to get around on the snowmobiles."
Schools across the state were closed Tuesday, and some announced they would be shut Wednesday as well. The University of Connecticut canceled classes Monday afternoon and Tuesday, a board of trustees meeting Wednesday and a men's hockey game scheduled in Hartford on Tuesday night. The state Judicial Branch canceled jury duty Tuesday and Wednesday. And the WWE canceled its RAW wrestling event in Hartford on Monday night.
The Journal Inquirer newspaper of Manchester did not deliver its Tuesday afternoon edition to customers because of the governor's travel ban. Managing Editor Chris Powell said the newspaper was printed and likely will be delivered to its customers in eastern Connecticut with Wednesday's edition. In the meantime, the newspaper made a PDF version available online. The paper also dropped the paywall to its website so readers could get the latest storm stories as they are posted.
Associated Press writers Michael Melia and Dave Collins contributed to this report.
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