Blizzard Buries Parts of Connecticut

As the Blizzard of 2015 began to dwindle Tuesday evening, Connecticut residents turned their attention to digging out from under as much as 33 inches of snow blanketing parts of the state.

Eastern Connecticut took the brunt of the storm, with the highest snow totals recorded along the shoreline and Rhode Island border in New London and Windham counties.

The highest snow totals of the state have been recorded in Thompson, which received 33.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Putnam, Moosup, East Killingly, Lisbon, Colchester, Norwich, Groton all received more than 2 feet of snow.

Many parts of western Connecticut, on the other hand, saw single-digit accumulations, as the heaviest band of snow veered east. More information on snow totals is available here.

Flakes are still falling in some areas of Connecticut but the storm is expected to move out by midnight. Winds will gust up to 35 mph, blowing fallen snow, but will lessen as the storm leaves the state.

While flurries will slowly taper off, the cold will linger, with temperatures dipping down into the single digits on Wednesday.

Blizzard warnings remain in effect through midnight Tuesday into Wednesday for New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties and through 1 a.m. Wednesday for Hartford, Litchfield, Tolland and Windham counties.

Driving Conditions

More than 600 state Department of Transportation crews and the state's fleet of 15 super snow blowers have been working around the clock to clear roads. Some 400 National Guardsmen were deployed when the storm hit Monday.

Gov. Dannel Malloy lifted a statewide travel ban at 2 p.m. Tuesday but urged drivers to take precautions and stay off the roads if possible.

"While the ban is lifted here in Connecticut, you should assume that this is a normal storm condition or snow condition, so we're not saying... that we want you to get on the roads," Malloy said. "On the other hand, we understand that people need to get to places and get to jobs and the like."

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Malloy also asked residents to help clear fire hydrants and storm drains and make sure snow is not blocking vents for heating and hot water systems.

The Connecticut National Guard has been deployed to Stonington, one of the hardest-hit areas of the state.

Bridgeport is sending four snow trucks to New London to help the city dig out. The governor said state workers will help clear roads in eastern Connecticut towns, such as New London and Pomfret, after taking care of state roads.

"We will make resources available to them once we complete our road clearance of our obligated roads," Malloy said.

Fifteen crashes were reported while the travel ban was in effect. Malloy said halting travel during the height of the storm likely prevented hundreds of collisions.

"That is remarkable. Under slight storm conditions, we can expect upwards of several hundred accidents, so the system has worked because people of Connecticut have responded," Malloy said Tuesday afternoon.

AAA responded to 438 emergency calls between midnight at 9 a.m. Tuesday and 1,271 calls for help Monday, most of which were for towing, jump starting and lockouts, according to an agency spokesperson.

Some parking bans remain in effect as cities and towns around the state dig out.

Public Transportation

In addition to asking drivers to stay off the roads, mass transit was halted as the storm approached.

The Metro-North Hudson, New Haven and Harlem lines ran limited service on Tuesday, operating on a Sunday schedule. Weekday service will resume Wednesday and parking lots will be cleared for commuters, Malloy said.

Amtrak service is also starting back up Wednesday. Acela Express and Northeast Regional trains will fun from New York to Boston on a modified schedule. Trains will run on a regular schedule from New York to Washington, D.C.

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The Springfield Shuttle from New Haven to Springfield will run on a reduced schedule.

Empire Service in New York, the Vermonter from Vermont to D.C., Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to New York and Boston, and Keystone Service from Pennsylvania to New York will operate on normal schedules.

Updates are available on the Amtrak website and Twitter account.

CT Transit bus service will also resume on Wednesday morning.

Norwalk Transit District services were also suspended on Tuesday, including the WHEELS local bus service, all evening shuttles, Coastal Link service from Norwalk to Milford, 7 Link service from Norwalk to Danbury, commuter shuttles from rail stations in Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich and all door-to-door services for the elderly and disabled. Service will resume at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

Bradley International Airport shut down at 7 p.m. on Monday. Outbound flights are expected to resume Wednesday, but inbound flights began arriving Tuesday afternoon. Check with your air carrier for more information.

Snow Closings/Cancellations

The state was essentially paralyzed Tuesday, with hundreds of schools and businesses closed. Many plan to open late Wednesday morning or remain closed altogether as communities dig out. Check here for information on closings and delays.

The governor ordered all first, second and third shift non-essential state workers to stay home Tuesday but said a regular work schedule will be in place Wednesday.

Mail delivery was halted Tuesday in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island and will resume Wednesday. Residents are asked to shovel walkways leading up to their mailboxes and make sure icy surfaces are sanded or salted. Enough snow must be cleared from the curb around the mailbox to allow delivery trucks to pull up alongside it.

All Access Health CT enrollment centers closed at noon Monday and will remain closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. All locations should reopen Thursday.

Hospitals have also made accommodations to provide care to patients throughout the storm, but have canceled elective procedures until the blizzard moves out.

The Department of Motor Vehicles canceled driver's license road and knowledge tests for Jan. 27 and 28. Applicants can reschedule their tests with the DMV.

Classes will resume at the University of Connecticut campuses in Storrs and Avery Point at 10 a.m. Wednesday. All other UConn campuses will operate on normal clas schedules.

Potential for Power Outages

The state's major utility companies characterized the blizzard as a Category 1 storm, meaning more than 100,000 customers could potentially lose power, according to the governor. Most outages were isolated and were quickly repaired.

The governor credited tree trimming programs and the lack of ice associated with this storm for the lack of major outages.

"I think we're learning and getting better at this stuff as we go along," Malloy said.

Before the blizzard hit, Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating requested out-of-state crews to assist in the event of outages. More than 500 CL&P workers have been at the ready and crews were brought into help from as far away as Canada.

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