National News

Governor Malloy warns residents to stay off roads

Posted January 4, 2018 11:33 a.m. EST

— Gov. Dannel Malloy told Connecticut residents to stay off the roads but said no highway ban was in effect on Thursday.

Channel 3's meteorologists forecasted 6 to 14 inches of snow across the state. On Wednesday evening, Malloy said non-essential first and second-shift state employees should not report to work on Thursday.

The governor activated the state's Emergency Operations Center on Thursday morning just as Blizzard Brody was hitting the state. Malloy held a briefing at the state armory in Hartford on Thursday morning and advised residents to stay off the roads to allow plows to clear the roads.

"It is strongly recommended that #CT motorists stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary in order to allow #CTDOT crews to clear highways as efficiently and safely as possible. Employers that can allow people to work from home or alter their hours are encouraged to do so," Malloy tweeted on Thursday.

Malloy said the Department of Transportation has 634 state trucks and roughly 200 private contractors prepared to respond to the storm.

"Materials such as salt, liquid magnesium chloride, and spare parts are stockpiled at roughly 50 CTDOT satellite facilities throughout the state. The department also has 17 industrial/loader-mounted snow blowers that are capable of each moving 1,500 tons of snow per hour," a press release said.

Drivers were told to build in extra time for travel if they needed to drive on Thursday.

"Please give our plowing operations a wide birth and frankly if you think you want to pass a plowing operation you're already in the wrong state of mind," DOT Spokesman Kevin Nursick said. "You're traveling too fast."

Nursick added that the high wind gusts are expected drivers will need to pay careful attention to snow drifts.

"As bitter cold temps continue w/ lows of near 0 degrees and wind chills of -20 at night, residents & businesses must be cautious that power outages may result in frozen/bursting pipes. Never operate a generator or burn charcoal indoors. Properly ventilate kerosene heaters," Malloy tweeted on Tuesday.

There are 50 DOT satellite facilities across the state with materials such as salt and spare parts for equipment stockpiled in case it's needed, according to Nursick. DOT crews will not be pre-treating roads because of the low temperatures that could lead to ice. But, Nursick said assured all the state roads have already been treated previously.

The governor also asked residents to check on others.

"As always with cold weather and winter storms, please check on any elderly neighbors or neighbors with disabilities," Malloy tweeted.

The governor advised anyone needing shelter to call 211. He added there are at least 108 warming centers open in 34 towns throughout Connecticut.

With the "high winds," the governor warned about outages. As of 11:15 a.m., there are 722 Eversource customers without power.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said the state would also maintain its severe weather protocol, which was activated last week. The protocol will run through Monday at 5 p.m.

"As we continue through this extended period of bitter cold temperatures, we must take precautions and ensure that services are available to protect the most vulnerable populations," Malloy said. "Shelters and warming centers remain open throughout the state and can be located by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.211ct.org. We also encourage folks to check in on seniors and neighbors in need to ensure they are safe and warm."

The protocol directs staff from the Department of Energy Services and Public Protection, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Mental Health and Addition Services and the Department of Housing to coordinate with 211 and Connecticut's network of shelters to ensure people are protected during these conditions.