BRISTOL - A winter storm is expected to bring several inches of snow to Central Connecticut today and could make for a dangerous evening commute.
“It’s always the timing and how it comes down,” said Bristol Police Lt. Richard Guerrera.
Scot Haney, the WFSB-TV meteorologist, expects 3 to 6 inches of snow in the area, followed by sleet and possibly freezing rain.
“A winter weather advisory is in effect (Tuesday) morning through Wednesday morning,” Haney said, adding that snow should begin falling in the western part of the state around 10 to 10:30 a.m. before moving into this area.
Getting to work should not be an issue for most people, according to Haney. The trouble could arise on the way home.
Guerrera cited a winter storm last November as an example of how the timing of wintry weather often dictates how many issues it causes. Over the course of about 12 hours, between 5 to 9 inches of snow fell in the area during that storm, but the snow rolled in around 5 p.m., prime commuting time, and came down fast and heavy.
Bristol police responded to 38 reports of motor vehicle accidents. Many of the calls overlapped, with as many as three accidents being reported in a 15-minute time span.
If precipitation should fall heavily during today’s evening commute, Guerrera said, it’s possible that the storm could cause a number of motor vehicle accidents and reports of motorists stuck in the snow, which is also dangerous.
“It makes it tricky because a lot more people could be on the roads (in the evening) if it hits later in the morning,” the lieutenant said.
“I don’t want to tell people to stay home from work, but if you have the option of working from home, maybe choose that,” said Guerrera. “We’re looking to keep as many people off the road as possible.”
According to Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, a parking ban will go into effect in Bristol at 6 a.m. today and remain in place until further notice.
A parking ban will go into effect in Southington at noon today and remain in place until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Plainville police said a emergency parking ban had not been announced as of 2:30 p.m. Monday. However, Lt. Eric Peterson said, police always encourage residents not to park on the streets during winter storms.
It is unclear if an emergency parking ban will go into effect in Plymouth, as officials there did not return a request for comment.
As of Monday afternoon, no school closings or delays had been reported in the area.
“We always pretreat the roads and that will begin at 6 a.m., based on the paid weather service we are monitoring,” Zoppo-Sassu said. “We are also having our Solid Waste Division come in early and begin trash and recycling pickups, so anyone with Tuesday pickup should have barrels out early and then also pull them in as soon as possible to prevent the plows from getting them.”
“We also like to remind homeowners to dig out their fire hydrants and also to check on their neighbors, especially those who are living alone or are elderly,” she continued.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.