Local towns ready for third nor'easter to hit

Published on Monday, 12 March 2018 20:23
Written by JUSTIN MUSZYNSKI and LISA BACKUS

@muszynskiBP

BRISTOL - The third nor’easter in less than two weeks is expected to drop as many as eight inches of snow in the area, starting overnight and really striking through the Tuesday morning commute and into the afternoon.

“It looks like it’s going to be pretty bad,” said Bristol police Lt. Todd Kozaryn, head of the department’s Traffic Division.

According to WFSB-TV Meteorologist Mark Dixon, the wind gusts could hit 40 miles per hour, but the snow may be lighter and fluffier than last week’s storm, which could cut down on power outages this time around.

“The main event ramps up after midnight with the peak of the storm happening from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Dixon said.

During that time snow will likely fall at a rate of one to two inches per hour, with possible heavier bands bringing three inches per hour, Dixon added.

“There is the potential for thunder snow and times of reduced visibility of one-quarter mile or white out conditions,” Dixon said.

Tuesday’s nor’easter could be the season’s last bad snowstorm. Most area officials are hoping the storm doesn’t bring the wet, heavy snow that took down trees and utility lines last week, when hundreds in central Connecticut and thousands throughout the state lost power.

The storm will hit the eastern portion of the state and Massachusetts harder than central and western Connecticut, with the Hartford metro area from Hartford to Wallingford getting possibly four to eight inches of snow, Dixon said.

As with most snowstorms, Kozaryn said police are advising residents not to go out if they don’t have to.

“If it’s something that’s not important, try to reschedule,” the lieutenant said.

For those who do have to venture out during the storm, Kozaryn said motorists should always keep their headlights on when it’s snowing, regardless of how light it appears out, and clear all snow from their vehicle before driving. Not doing so creates a hazard for other motorists, who could be the victim of snow or ice sliding off someone else’s car, and for the driver whose headlights are covered with snow and whose windows become blind spots.

“Adjust your speed accordingly for the road conditions,” Kozaryn said. “All-wheel drive may help you go, but when it’s time to stop it won’t help.”

Bristol imposed an emergency parking ban beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday when the seasonal ban ends, according to Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. The parking ban will continue until the city completes clean-up operations after the storm, she said.

When the contractors and city crews begin plowing efforts, they will make the initial pass to open the streets, Zoppo-Sassu said. The next pass will be a gutter cut to clear and make room for what is expected to be heavy wet snow.

The City Council is going to convene and then adjourn its meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday night, and reschedule it for Wednesday, Zoppo-Sassu said. That decision is to balance the need to transact business and not violate the charter with safety of staff and the public, she explained.

The Mayor’s Youth Cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday will also be rescheduled to Wednesday, she added.

In Southington, a parking ban has been issued from midnight Tuesday until 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Mike Widger, roadway foreman in Plainville, said that road crews were ready to go on Monday.

"A couple of our trucks were down and we had one where we just fixed a transmission problem but we just picked up the last one," he said. "We'll be pre-treating the roads (Monday night) after dinner and coming back in at around 4 a.m. and evaluating things from there." 

Because of back-to-back-to-back storms, Eversource Spokesperson Mitch Gross said grounds are wetter and trees are weaker heading into Tuesday’s storm. But, line and tree crews, with the help of workers from around the country and Canada, are ready to respond should any power outages occur, he added.

“This will be the third nor’easter in two weeks,” said Gross.

“We’ve been watching very closely...we’ll respond as quickly as we can if any issues occur,” he added of preparation efforts and what the plan for Tuesday is.

Gross reminded customers to stay away from downed wires, damaged poles and report them to 9-1-1; report any outages to Eversource immediately by calling 800-286-2000 or online at eversource.com; and have any storm kits ready with water, food, medications and charged communication devices.

Staff writer Charles Paullin contributed to this story.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General News, Plainville, Southington Herald on Monday, 12 March 2018 20:23. Updated: Monday, 12 March 2018 20:25.