Winter storm brings snow, freezing rain with temps expected to plummet

Winter storm brings snow, freezing rain with temps expected to plummet

reporter photo

MERIDEN — Snowfall totals were on the lower end of forecasts for Sunday’s winter storm, leaving ice and frigid temperatures as the main concern for the next few days.

Wallingford saw 2.5 inches of snow accumulate, while Southington received 3.8 inches, according to Gary Lessor, meteorologist with the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University. Forecasts on Saturday estimated that between 2 and 5 inches of snow was likely to accumulate.

The storm transitioned from snowfall to sleet at around 12:30 a.m. and to freezing rain around 2 a.m., which packed down the snow that did fall. The storm moved out of the region between 2 and 3 p.m. Sunday.

As of noon Sunday, the temperature in Meriden was 26 degrees. Lessor said Monday is expected to be “brutally cold” with temperatures as low as 0 to 5 degrees and a windchill making it feel minus-15. Tuesday will remain “abnormally cold,” Lessor said, before temperatures rise into the low 40s on Wednesday and Thursday.

Lessor said commuters should expect hazardous driving conditions Monday morning due to ice and should leave themselves extra time.

“Everything’s going to freeze solid,” he said. “People are just going to have to break the ice...then throw a lot of rock salt down.”

Local police departments said few accidents had been reported during the storm. Most of the calls officers responded to were public safety hazards, such as downed trees or tree branches touching power lines.

One rollover crash occurred in Meriden on Interstate 91 in the area of exit 16 at around 9 a.m. Sunday. Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Dunn said firefighters worked for around a half hour to extricate one individual who was transported to the hospital.

“It’s been an extremely busy day,” Dunn said. “With the weight of the ice on the trees they are coming down. We are seeing a large number of branches and trees coming down on power lines and some of them are catching on fire.”

Minor damaged was done to a home at 32 High St. in Wallingford when a tree fell and sheared off the gutters, causing minor damage to the roof. No residents of the home were injured.

As of around noon, Eversource reported over 1,000 outages in the Meriden area, with Durham and Middlefield being the hardest hit, at 1,203 and 768 customers without power respectively. Meriden itself had 145 customers without electricity.