Sunday, January 23, 2005
Rick Sanchez and children Annie, 10, and Will, 8, along with their dog, Holly, enjoy the snow at Westport’s Longshore Club Park today. It was the youngsters’ first significant snowfall since moving here last September from California’s Bay area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Fire Department stationed engines at Saugatuck Shores and Compo Beach during today’s high tide in case of flooding. Here Lt. Ken Lombardi chats with a couple of Saugatuck Shores residents during a pause in their snow shoveling. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Clearing the snow at Westport’s Saugatuck station was a priority today. Metro-North was running trains every two hours in and out of New York making all stops. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Two horses got loose from their Westport home today during the morning blizzard and wandered down to Interstate-95 near exit 18. State police, Westport police, and Westport’s animal control officer responded and helped the owners finally corral the errant animals but not before they caused quite a stir among passing motorists and snowplow drivers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo ©2005 WestportNow.com
A snowplow driver on I-95 near Westport’s exit 18 may have thought he was seeing things as he passed by a wandering horse adjacent to the roadway at about 8 a.m. today. It took almost an hour to corral the two wandering animals. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo 2005 WestportNow.com
Finally the owners get the horses under control alongside I-95 in Westport today after almost an hour. They said the horses escaped when a piece of wood came off their fence enclosure and that it had never happened before. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo 2005 WestportNow.com
The owner of two horses that escaped from a Greens Farms Road residence in Westport early today heads home after they wandered around exit 18 on I-95 for almost an hour before being captured. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo 2005 WestportNow.com
A Westport horse owner has his animals under firm control as he walks them along the Sherwood Island Connector after they wandered alongside I-95 during today’s snowstorm. Westport Police officer Dave Farrell, who investigated, said: “They meant no harm—they were just horsing around.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo ©2005 WestportNow.com
Based on updated weather information and a conference call with state emergency management officials, Westport’s emergency team said today moderate flooding will occur in shoreline areas but that a general evacuation was not necessary.
“We expect some moderate flooding in Saugatuck Shores and along Bradley Street in the Compo area, which is not unusual in severe storms, but we think the flood waters will not be severe enough for people to have to leave their homes,” Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said at 6:30 a.m.
He said he had been in touch with state officials and other Connecticut shoreline communities in the area and none of them was recommending a general evacuation of their flood-prone areas.
McCarthy said he has ordered engine companies to Saugatuck Shores and the Compo Beach areas in advance of this morning’s high tide at 9:48 a.m. a normal procedure during severe storms ֖ to be available for quick response to shoreline homes.
The National Weather Service early today extended the blizzard warning for the Westport area until 2 p.m. and said a coastal flood warning remains in effect.
“Snow will continue across the areas into the morning hours before tapering off early in the afternoon. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour will be found in the heaviest bands of snow,” a statement said.
“The storm total snow accumulations will range from 14 to 24 inches.
“East to northeast winds will continue to increase early this morning, reaching speeds of 30 to 35 mph with some gusts in excess of 40 mph inland and 50 mph along the coast.
Few cars were on the road tonight as the snow fell. This is the view looking east on Post Road East from the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge over the Saugatuck River. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Westport emergency management officials tonight urged shoreline residents to move extra cars to higher ground and prepare for possible evacuation Sunday morning as a blizzard walloped the area and threatened coastal flooding.
Westport Fire Chief Denis McCarthy takes a call tonight from a Compo Beach resident worried about flooding. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
“We are taking this very seriously,” said Fire Chief Denis McCarthy. “We don’t want to scare anyone, but we know what happened in 1992 and this could be on that scale.”
McCarthy, Police Chief Al Fiore and other town officials met in mid-afternoon at the town’s emergency management center at fire headquarters. First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell joined them via speaker phone (CORRECTED) from the road returning from New York State where she dropped off a child.
They discussed plans for possible evacuations, opening of an emergency shelter at Long Lots School, and possibly requesting National Guard help to provide high-water vehicles to move shoreline residents to safety.
Westport’s center is deserted tonight as a heavy snow blankets the area. Almost 6 inches had fallen by 6 p.m. Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said the town would decide early Sunday if evacuation of shoreline areas is necessary due to the coastal flooding threat. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westport activated its emergency operations center at fire headquarters today because of the blizzard and threat of coastal flooding. Town officials tonight urged residents at Compo Beach and Saugatuck Shores to move extra vehicles to higher ground either to the commuter parking lot at I-95 exit 17 or the Parks and Recreation Department parking lot at Longshore Club Park. They were told to keep one vehicle at home in case of evacuation. Picture shows the emergency center “hot” and ready to go. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Even after the snow began falling today, Westporters were still filling up at gas stations which still had supplies. This was the scene at a station on Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Laura Glickstein for WestportNow.com
The waters of Long Island Sound looked relatively calm at Westport’s Compo Beach today as the snow began falling. But the National Weather Service warned of possible coastal flooding with waters surging 4 to 7 feet on top of the normal tide Sunday morning. Westport emergency officials held a planning session in case shoreline evacuations are necessary. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Laura Glickstein for WestportNow.com
Stores on Westport’s Main Street shut down early today as the snow began falling. Firefighters went door-to-door warning store owners of possible flooding in the area similar to what occurred in 1992 as a nor’easter hit the area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Just before the snow started today the Westport Board of Education held a sale of used furniture plus at the Bedford Middle School parking lot. Despite the bitter cold, many shoppers showed up for bargains as cheap as $1. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com
Westporters rushed to gas stations today in to fill up in advance of the snowstorm. Some stations ran out as the snow began falling. Scene is at the Mobil self-serve on Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Several minor accidents were reported on Westport roadways today as snow began falling and the town braced for blizzard conditions possibly accompanied by serious coastal flooding that could reach Main Street.
Compo Basin looked calm before snow began falling today but forecasters said the snowstorm could be accompanied by serious coastal flooding. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
No injuries were reported in a six-car accident in early afternoon on Post Road West near Sylvan Road. Police investigated several other minor accidents as roads became slippery with snow falling in 11-degree weather.
The National Weather Service, in addition to issuing a blizzard warning, issued a coastal flood warning. Firefighters went door-to-door on Main Street warning business owners that serious flooding similar to what occurred in the downtown area in 1992 was possible.
In that storm, parts of Compo Beach, Saugatuck Shores and Main Street were inundated with flood waters as a nor’easter barreled through the area.
As the snowflakes began falling in Westport today, many Westporters made a last-minute trip to Blockbuster Video on Post Road East to make sure they had enough entertainment to last through the storm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo