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A payloader is at the ready to load salt and sand mixture to plow trucks at the Public Works garages on Michael Drive in Meriden on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 2, 2014. An order to replenish the supply of salt and sand has already been placed and should arrived in a couple of days after most of the current supply is used to this storm. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal
A plow truck returns to the Public Works garages on Michael Drive to refuel after making some sanding runs around the city as the leading edge of the snow storm hit Meriden, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. Crews took a light approach only appling salt and sand where needed early in the day readying themselves for the bulk of the storm overnight. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal A plow truck is parked ready to go while a driver takes a quick break at the public works garages on Michael Drive in Meriden, Jan. 2, 2014. Crews began reporting to work at 4 a.m. on Thursday for storm preparations. The heaviest snowfall was expected to begin after 6 p.m. on Thursday and continue into the night with four to eight inches of accumulation. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal A man walks up East Main Street in Meriden Thursday afternoon as the leading edge of a storm system dropped a dusting of snow on the ground, Jan. 2, 2014. Forecasts predict that four to eight inches would accumulate over Thursday night into Friday morning. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal A car spun up and slid onto a small snow bank off Kensington Avenue Thursday afternoon in Meriden, Jan. 2, 2014. The light coating of snow was enough to create some slick spots for drivers causing spinouts. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal Cars park on the grass next to Warren Street to get off the road during the parking ban Thursday afternoon in Meriden, Jan. 2, 2014. Residents in the area look for places to park off the street and out of the way of the snow plows. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal A man scrapes off the sidewalk in front of some businesses on East Main Street on Thursday afternoon in Meriden, Jan. 2, 2014. Despite more snow forecast to fall in a few hours, some people cleared the small amout that had fallen early in the day. | Christopher Zajac / Record-Journal

Schools closed; area towns prepare

A storm that was expected to drop from five to 10 inches of snow regionally forced the cancellation of school Friday.

Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire schools also closed early Thursday, ahead of the storm. About an inch fell during the day, said Gary Lessor, a meteorologist at Western Connecticut State University’s Weather Center.

Sgt. Jeff Herget of the Meriden police said several minor motor vehicle accidents occurred in the city during the day and one in the evening, none of which involved injuries. He said he hoped residents would follow Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s urging and stay off the streets because conditions were expected to worsen throughout the night..

Lt. Tim Rogers of the Cheshire police said the department responded to two minor accidents during the day Thursday.

Southington emergency services did not report any accidents. Lt. Eric Heath of the Southington Fire Department said the town’s roads were “navigable,” as of 6 p.m.

Battalion Chief Joseph Czentnar of the Wallingford Fire Department said as of 9:15 p.m. units had responded to one accident, which sent one person to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. “We’re just gearing up for tonight,” he said.

Municipal road crews began preparing for the storm Thursday morning. Meriden Public Works Director Robert J. Bass said the city brought in extra salt from New Haven as a contingency.

Lessor said snow was expected to fall into Friday morning.

Residents should be prepared for significant blowing and drifting and an arduous cleanup process, Lessor said. Gusting winds will likely re-cover areas with snow that have already been cleared, he said.

Temperatures dropped into the teens Thursday night, and Lessor expected the “bitterly cold” temperatures to drop to 10 degrees. Tempratures are expected to rise into the mid-teens Friday, but the wind chill factor will make it feel like zero, Lessor said.

Friday evening will bring “basically Arctic air” with a dew point of between negative 15 to 20 degrees, Lessor said.

Dew points, which are measurements of the amount of moisture in the air, rarely drop below negative five degrees in New England, he said.

Lower dew points reflect drier air. The dew point forecast for Friday night is a common reading in northern Canada, Lessor said

Lessor said the temperature will be between zero to negative 14 degrees Friday night. He advised residents to remain in a place of adequate shelter, as well as ensuring that their animals are adequately sheltered.

“Needless to say, people should not leave pets outside,” nor bring them along for car rides, he said.

Lessor said the temperature will rise to the mid-twenties during the day on Saturday and climb to 35 to 40 degrees on Sunday.

The region will see rain on Sunday night into Monday morning that could be of the freezing variety, which could complicate travel during the day, Lessor said. Colder air will return to the area Tuesday, he said.

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