Blizzard to Shut Down Area

by Christopher O'Brien

As a historic blizzard bears down on the region, all residents are urged to stay off the roadways beginning Friday afternoon and through the storm’s expected completion around mid-day Saturday. Wolcott can expect to receive around 20 inches or more by the storm’s completion. According to meteorologists at Fox CT, we should have 6-8 inches by around 7 pm tonight after the snow begins to accumulate around noon. Snowfall will intensify to about 3 inches falling per hour after midnight. At around the same time, winds are expected to ramp up to 50 mph which will create widespread whiteout conditions and snow drifting for several hours.  As of 7:00 am, the snow line has already crossed into Greenwich.

School is closed on Friday.

A parking ban has been declared throughout Wolcott beginning 6 am Friday until 5 pm on Saturday. Do not park on any roadways in town to ensure roads can be plowed and emergency vehicles can make their way if they need to do so.

Local gas stations ran out of gas Thursday evening. Cumberland Farms on Wolcott Rd. didn’t have gas for five hours until an emergency delivery was made. Yet, as steady lines filed through the pump stations, a gas station attendant reported that they were running low on fuel again. The store didn’t expect another delivery before the storm hit to ensure that delivery trucks wouldn’t get stuck when the store begins to ramp up mid day on Friday.

Because of the nature of this storm, all residents are urged to stay off the roads. Since there is nowhere to go, then why are people filling up? Since there is a low local supply of fuel, it should be reserved for snowplow drivers and emergency workers who will need to get out over the weekend. Its possible that many areas will remain impassable through late Saturday. With at least two feet of snow expected in the Wolcott area, high winds can very well create drifts five and six feet high. Again, this creates an extremely dangerous scenario and no one should venture onto the roadways unless they have a true emergency. Even then, anyone expecting to be on the roads for brief periods should have enough fuel on hand just in case they become stuck to stay warm.

Local grocery and convenience stores did still have a decent supply of batteries, bread and other provisions, and there is still time to obtain enough to sustain yourself for several days in case the power goes out. Having a supply of cards, board games, crossword puzzles and books is a great idea to pass the time and spend time with loved ones for the makeshift holiday.

Since there is no foliage on the trees, there is a low risk that trees will fall over as occured during the October snowstorm of 2011 which caused widespread power outages. Yet, the heavy snow and sustained winds over 40 mph still make electrical problems a possibility.

During the storm, homeowners living near fire hydrants are being asked to clear a 3 foot wide path to the hydrant in case they are needed at any time. Shovelling several inches of snow at a time during the blizzard is a good idea to keep up with the expected snowfall.

If you have a generator, be sure to keep the vents clear. This also will be a continual effort with high winds that may try blowing snow into the generator and can shut it down or cause Carbon Monoxide buildup.

The Grange’s Bowling fundraiser on Saturday has been cancelled.

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