State DOT, local public works departments prepare for Thursday storm

State DOT, local public works departments prepare for Thursday storm

A winter storm could bring up to 10 inches of snow to the area on Thursday.

Snow is expected to begin early Thursday and continue through the evening hours, according to Gary Lessor, meteorologist with the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University.

Visibility will be low Thursday morning, when snow will fall at a significant rate.

“People have got to be ready for an extremely slow morning commute,” Lessor said.

The high temperature Thursday will be about 25 degrees, with a wind chill in the low to mid teens. Sustained winds will be between 15 and 20 mph, and gusts could reach 25 mph.

Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire schools will all be closed Thursday and the towns have announced parking bans.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Nursick said the snow could impact both the morning and afternoon commutes.

The DOT will not pretreat the roads due to cold temperatures. Nursick said salt put down for previous storms will reactivate and act as a safer pretreat technique.

“We have plenty of salt residue down on pretty much all the roads around the state,” Nursick said. The salt will help keep the snow from packing and bonding with the roads, making cleanup easier.

Meriden public works expects to have about 25 trucks on the roads.

“We’ll be ready to put down product and push snow,” Public Works Director Bob Bass said.

The DOT expects to have 634 state plow trucks and up to 200 private contractors out on roads across the state tomorrow. It will utilize 50 satellite facilities, which house salt, liquid magnesium chloride and spare parts, Nursick said.

“Based on this forecast, I’d guess that the entire fleet will be out there. That will likely include most, if not all, of the private contractors,” Nursick said.

Bass said residents should pay attention to the parking ban, which went into effect at 5 p.m. Wednesday and will continue until 3 p.m. Friday afternoon. Bass said they will be tagging and towing any cars parked on the road during that time.

Wallingford has also announced a parking ban to begin at 5 a.m. Thursday.  Cheshire and Southington will also have parking bans running from midnight Wednesday until noon on Friday.

Eversource stated that it has repair crews on standby to respond to downed or damaged lines and has told customers to prepare for possible outages.

“It’s important to point out that driving conditions are predicted to be difficult – so traveling to damage locations will be challenging and hazard-level winds could temporarily prevent workers from going up in bucket trucks to restore power,” said Eversource Senior Vice President of Emergency Preparedness Peter Clarke.

The National Weather Service recommended those in the storm’s path to prepare for electrical outages by checking the batteries in flashlights and radios, charging mobile devices, and locating community warming shelters should household heating systems fail.

The high temperature for Friday is expected to be around 10 degrees. Temperatures over the weekend will be in the single digits, and wind chills could make temperatures feel like 20 to 30 degrees below zero.

Lessor said people should stay indoors, check on neighbors and only let pets out for short periods of time while temperatures remain low


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