First snowfall of season wreaks havoc on area roadways

Published on Saturday, 9 December 2017 20:27
Written by Lisa Backus

Staff writer

Plainville Police Sgt. Shane Murphy knew the snow was causing problems Saturday, during the first storm of the season, when he saw car after car slide into parking spaces at The Commons Shopping Center.

“The roads are particularly slick and slippery,” Murphy said.

Around the state, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Connecticut state troopers responded to approximately 220 motor vehicle crashes, 19 with minor injuries. Troopers also responded to approximately 124 motorist assists, such as spin-outs and disabled motor vehicles.

Some area police departments were kept busy through the day as heavy, wet snow accumulated to about 4 inches. But others reported closer to normal workloads.

New Britain brought in extra officers to deal with storm-related accidents, said Police Chief James Wardwell.

“The accumulation wasn’t a problem. It was very slick,” Wardwell said.

His department dealt with numerous incidents, but there were no serious injuries, he said.

Bristol police also said they were busy with numerous accidents that caused no injuries.

Berlin dispatchers said there were no major problems during the storm and only a few minor accidents.

While Eastern Connecticut might get 7 inches of snow or more before the storm winds down, WFSB-TV predicted totals in the 4- to 5-inch range in Central Connecticut.

Snow began falling in the local area around 9 a.m., but didn’t pick up for a few hours. By 1 p.m., wet, heavy snow was falling, creating slick conditions on sidewalks and roads.

The snow eased up around 3:30 p.m., but resumed as night fell and temperatures dropped. Snow was expected to taper off during the evening, ending around midnight, WFSB said.

Today will be sunny with temperatures in the 30s but feeling colder due to wind chill.

At the height of Saturday’s storm, Murphy was at The Commons as part of a Plainville police Stuff-A-Cruiser event. Although his department was dealing with an average number of accidents - one every 90 minutes - he could tell it was quite slick as he watched people trying to park.

“People couldn’t get into their spaces,” he said. “I wish everyone would get off the roads.”

Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Follow her on Twitter @LbackusNBH

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington Herald on Saturday, 9 December 2017 20:27. Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2017 20:29.