22 Aug 2014
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Day Five: Hamden Still Struggles to Recover

Most roads are passable but only one lane wide, school is still closed but things are beginning to look up.


Five days after the historic blizzard left behind 40" of snow and unmeasurable headaches, Hamden residents are beginning to see life return to normal, albeit in small doses.

But the return to normalcy has come with a hefty price tag: more than $1 million, money that has to be paid upfront but will will, at least in part, be reimbursed later.

"We are doing emergency expenditures and working to set up  special storm expense account," Leng said, "so it may not affect the E&C [Emergency and Contingency] account."

The goal was to have 90 percent of roads passable by Tuesday night and 99 percent passable by Wednesday afternoon. But by Tuesday night, the 99 percent figure was already achieved, Chief Administrative Officer Curt Leng said.

"We have more resources in the field and they are moving ahead of schedule to the full cleaning and clearance, opening up two lanes and moving snow," Leng said Tuesday night. "And now we are working to prepare in case the town gets additional snow this coming weekend by advancing our clearing efforts."

While schools remain closed today, town government offices and the Hamden Public Library are open for the first time since the storm hit. 

"We have made significant progress today in most areas of the town, a little slower in the denser neighborhoods of the southwest and parts of Whitneyville," Mayor Scott Jackson said in his daily update Tuesday night. "More than 30 crews are moving snow right now and will continue to do so until the town is entirely passable."

Up until now crews have been concentrating on clearing only one lane in order to provide emergency access to every street, Jakcson said. With that wrapping up, the next phase will be to widen the roads to normal width, he said. 

"Additional equipment and resources are being brought in to hit the ground running on phase two of the clean-up effort," he said.

As that process proceeds, residents won't be required to keep sidewalks cleared, Jackson said, because as the plows continue to clear the roads, the sidewalks will be covered over and residents will be forced to shovel them again and again.

"We don't want you to have to shovel out many feet of heavy snow three or four times," the mayor said.

And as that process continues, driving conditions will continue to be dangerous and site lines will be difficult, Jackson said.

"It is still advisable to stay home as much as possible," he said.

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