Monday, January 26, 2015
Westport Department of Public Works snowplows head out late today from the garage on the Sherwood Island Connector to begin what likely will be extended shifts to keep Westport roads passable. Once winds pick up and visibility becomes limited, the plows will return to the garage to wait until the storm begins to abate. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
In addition to shopping for essentials, Westporters were busy today fueling up at gas stations. This was the scene at the Sunoco station, 322 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Caroline O’Kane for WestportNow.com
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today issued the following statement on the storm:
A blizzard warning is in effect throughout Connecticut and is anticipated to heavily impact the area tonight through Tuesday. Safety is the utmost priority. If there is a power outage, repairs will be made when it is safe to do so. At the height of the storm, due to high winds and potential for impassable roads, CL&P will not send linemen to repair downed wires until it is safe to do so.
There are several factors that make this storm dangerous:
- Expected snow accumulations of 18-24 inches will make driving extremely dangerous, including possible whiteout conditions, tonight and into early Wednesday morning. Governor Malloy has announced that a travel ban for all roads is in effect beginning at 9 p.m.
The 3:05 p.m. out of Grand Central to Westport today was standing room only. Johanna Rossi for WestportNow.com
Shoppers at Westport’s Stop & Shop today may have felt it was Stop & Look as store shelves of many items were barren as people stocked up for the storm. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
A Westport school bus makes its way along Long Lots Road today as Westport public schools were on early dismissal. Westport schools will be closed Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
The National Weather Service in a mid-day update to its Blizzard Warning for Westport and area again revised its possible storm snow accumulation to 20 to 30 inches.
On Sunday, it had used the same projections but dropped the totals early today to 18-24 inches.
The Blizzard Warning, in effect to midnight Tuesday, said there will be “snow accumulation of 20 to 30 inches with locally higher amounts, especially across Long Island and Connecticut.”
There will be snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour late tonight into Tuesday morning with winds north 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. Gusts up to 60 mph are possible across eastern Long Island, the Weather Service said.
William M. Brown of Deerfield Beach, Fla., a former Westport resident, died Jan. 16 at home. He was 79.
He was born Feb. 2, 1936, in New Jersey to W. Maynard and Pauline Brown. He later served in the U.S. Marines.
He and his wife Sue lived in Westport for almost 30 years before moving to Westerly, R.I. where he was a member of the Westerly Yacht Club, and a supporter of The Church at Westerly. They spent more than 20 years in Westerly.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Sue and son, Warren Brown. At his request, no service will be held.
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe met today with his emergency management team at Westport Town Hall to continue storm planning. Also there was a representative from Connecticut Light and Power Company to coordinate the utility’s efforts with the town. Marpe activated the town’s emergency Operations Center at fire headquarters for the storm’s duration. Public Works Director Steve Edwards said coastal storms usually hit the west side of Westport harder than the other sections—for instance, there could be 7-8 inches more snow in the Greens Farms area than in other areas. Tree warden Bruce Lindsay said he hoped for less of a threat of fallen trees in critical areas because the town has undertaken mitigation efforts in recent years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westporter Nancy Gault, bundled up in temperatures in the high teens, walks with Harley, a 6-month-old Goldendoodle, at Compo Beach today. “I must be crazy, but we’re out here,” she said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Center for Senior Activities will be closed Tuesday.
All activities including the congregate luncheon program are canceled.
Metro-North said it is operating 18 additional trains departing Grand Central between 1 and 4 p.m. today.
To allow these trains to depart, the railroad will cancel or combine 14 trains that normally would depart Grand Central after 5 p.m.
Trains traveling to Westport impacted:
Westport public schools will be closed Tuesday.
The Westport Library will close early at 1 p.m. and will be closed Tuesday, an announcement said.
The Westport Weston Family YMCA said all programs will run as scheduled until 5 p.m. today, with the exception of the YMCA After School Program, which is canceled for today.
The Family YMCA’s Bedford Family Center at 14 Allen Raymond Lane and YMCA Gymnastics Center at 145 Main St. in Norwalk will close at 8 p.m.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today declared a State of Emergency as a predicted blizzard approached and announced that a travel ban for all roads is in effect beginning at 9 p.m.
“People need to take this storm seriously,” Malloy said.
“If current predictions are accurate, we will need people to stay off the roads so that emergency personnel and utility crews can get to the places they need to get to, and to make sure that our plows can keep critical roadways clear.”
The governor will update the public at 5:02 p.m. on the storm from the state Emergency Operations Center in Hartford.
Metro-North has announced a series of steps to maintain service during the storm.
It said extra engineers and signal maintainers have been called in. There will be special monitoring of switches – the interlocking tracks that allow rail traffic controllers to route trains from one track to another – to ensure they are working throughout the storm.
Metro-North said it is also activating switch heaters, lubricating the switches and treating them with anti-freeze agents. Rail traffic controllers will activate the switches to keep them from freezing shut.
In addition, track workers will be positioned in critical locations to be able to respond if any difficulties do crop up at switches, the railroad said.
Westport schools will have early dismissal today because of the weather.
Staples will dismiss at 11:45 a.m.; the middle schools and Saugatuck El at 12:15 p.m., and all other elementary schools at 1 p.m.
All after school activities are canceled or postponed.
The National Weather Service in an updated Blizzard Warning today in effect from 1 p.m. to midnight Tuesday has scaled back the snow prediction for Westport and area to 18-24 inches.
On Sunday, the Weather Service said the snow accumulation was likely to be 20 to 30 inches. Both forecasts said “locally higher amounts” are possible.
It said snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour are expected late tonight into Tuesday morning.
Winds will be north 20 to 30 mph with gusts 45 to 55 mp with .strongest across eastern Long Island. Visibilities wil be one-quarter mile or less at times with temperatures in the lower 20s.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Coney Island: Side Show”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “Saugatuck @Work” & “Framing Saugatuck”
4 p.m. - Westport Library - Teen: Maker Mondays Canceled
7 p.m. - Westport Library - Arduino Workshops Canceled
7:30 p.m. - Staples High School - Broadway Benefit for Orphenians Postponed to Feb. 23
7:30 p.m. - Town Hall Room 309 - RTM Environment Committee Canceled
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Dick Harris, Harbor Watch founder and director, is awarded a gift from Julia Mally, Earthplace honorary trustee, tonight at a dinner in his honor attended by more than 100 people at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport. Harris announced last September he would retire at the end of the year after 26 years leading Harbor Watch. (See WestportNow Sept. 17, 2014) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Nick Pisarro, Jr. for WestportNow.com
By James Lomuscio
Today, Howard Turner, manager at Westport’s Trader Joe’s, saw a blizzard of customers stocking up for this winter’s first big storm expected to hit Monday.
“We’ve been very busy since nine o’clock,” said Turner, noting that business was up 40 percent over a typical Sunday. “There was a slight lull in the afternoon, but then it picked right up.
“They’re buying all the staples, meat, poultry and juices,” he added, saying that he expected the store to be packed until it closes at 9 p.m. “It’s going to be crazy, so we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow.”
It was a similar story at other food stores and hardware stores.