‘We Take This Very Seriously': New Haven Prepares for First Snow Storm of 2016

The City of New Haven is ready to roll out more than 50 trucks to remove snow from city roadways this weekend.

"Our hope is after this is over we’ll be able to get roads open as quickly as possible where people can traverse through the city without a problem," Deputy Director of Emergency Operations Rick Fontana said.

Officials from police, fire and other city department met Friday afternoon at the Emergency Operations Center to review preparations for this weekend’s winter weather. There are varying snow model forecasts, but the shoreline is expected to be the hardest hit part of Connecticut with projections from half a foot to 10 inches of snow.

This will be the first storm during which New Haven utilizes new snow clearing equipment and the newly installed blue lights reminding residents of parking bans.

"We take this very seriously," Fontana said, "We’re going to prepare as we’re getting a major snowstorm and if we need to scale it back we’ll scale it back, but we’re not going to get caught with not preparing for what could be here."

A partial parking ban will be imposed in New Haven starting 12:00 a.m. Sunday through noon on Sunday. That applies to the area encircled by Howe Street, MLK Boulevard, State Street and Grove Street and posted Snow Emergency Routes.

New Haven residents are encouraged to call 203-946-8221 or the city’s Snow Line at 203-946-SNOW with any storm-related parking questions.

New Haven Police had this reminder for anyone who hires a private contractor to clear the snow.

"You cannot plow onto the city streets," Officer David Hartman said, "There is nothing that is worse other than the storm itself."

Crews at the New Haven Department of Public works were busy loading salt and sand into the fleet of 32 trucks. A representative from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees said five to 10 smaller trucks will be made available to help clear narrower neighborhood streets.

New Haven Public Schools has already cancelled all weekend activities and SAT testing scheduled for Saturday has been postponed. New Haven Free Public Library is closing all branches on Saturday.

"It’s Connecticut, it’s New England, you know it’s part of you live here and you learn to love it," Frank Casner from Canaan said, "I’d be happy to see a little bit, just enough where it don’t snarl anything, nobody gets hurt, but its winter time, it would be nice to see some white."

The New Haven Fire Department is asking residents to help clear snow from around fire hydrants near their homes.

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