State Releases Early to Prevent Storm Traffic Problems

Non-critical state employees will begin heading home at 10:30 a.m.

The state will send some employees home at staggered times through the morning as the storm approaches.

On Dec. 13, 2007, many people sat in their cars for hours trying to get home from work. The highways in and out Hartford were clogged after heavy snow prompted the state and many private companies to dismiss workers at the same time.
Rell took steps to try to prevent this from happening again.

State agency commissioners will release non-critical employees in three stages: 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Those who live furthest from work will leave first.

 Gov. M. Jodi Rell made the announcement after an 8:30 a.m. conference call with state agency chiefs to get the latest information about the approaching snowstorm.

Rell has also activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center.
“My goal is to make sure people get off the roads and get safely home before the storm reaches its peak later today,” Rell said.  “We have been closely monitoring the storm and sharing the latest forecast information with Connecticut businesses.  We want to do everything we can to allow for safe travel while enabling our snow plows the opportunity to keep up with the storm throughout the day.”
Rell has been in touch with region’s 12 major employers and to nearly 100 smaller employers in greater Hartford. She asked the companies, like Aetna and Phoenix, to stagger the times they dismiss their employees, if conditions warrant. Still, other companies are asking employees to work from home today.
The storm is expected to arrive in southwestern Connecticut around 10:30 a.m. and is expected to arrive in the Hartford area between 11:30 a.m. and noon.

The Department of Motor Vehicle offices will close at 11:30 a.m. and re-open Saturday for the usual business hours.

All full-service branch offices are open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Anyone with a driver's test scheduled Friday should call the DMV (860-263-5700 within Hartford area or outside of Connecticut and 800-842-8222 from elsewhere in Connecticut) to reschedule the test.

As much as 10 to 14 inches could fall in central Connecticut, 16 inches in the northern part of the state and 7 to 11 inches on the coast.
The state Department of Transportation and several state agencies are prepared to respond to the storm, Rell said. They include the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, the state Military Department, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Protection.

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Be sure to check back with NBCConnecticut throughout the storm.

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