Updated Tuesday 12:30 a.m.
Stratford residents with homes on the more than 45 roads yet to be plowed can expect to have their streets cleared by late-Tuesday.
"All roads should be opened up in less than 24 hours," Marc Dillon, the mayor's chief of staff, told Stratford Patch Monday in a 10 p.m. email.
The town has more than 35 plows and 20 payloaders working 24/7 to clear the roadways. Outside contractors have been hired, neighboring municipalities have provided mutual aid and the state has committed two payloaders, Dillon said.
Since the snow stopped falling Saturday, crews have cleared more than 500 roads in Stratford, Dillon said.
But that figure means little to residents still snowed in. And many neighborhoods have taken it upon themselves to clear the roads. Such was the case on White Street, East Broadway, Johnson Avenue, Riverview Place, Morehouse Avenue, and several others.
A resident involved in the Morehouse Avenue effort posted this photo on the Stratford Patch Facebook page, with the caption:
"Residents on Morehouse Ave were fed up with the lack of progress and banded together with their snow blowers in order for us to get out of our own streets. It's Monday 6:00 p.m. and no plow in sight. A Big Thank You to my neighbors, we are free."
Concerned about fed up folks in his district, Councilman Craig Budnick (R-7) penned a letter to his constituents, offering his munipical sway to snowbound residents.
The letter, which can be read here, was posted on Stratford Patch at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Budnick told residents to email him if their street needed plowing. By 10:45 p.m., the Councilman said he had received more than 100 emails, which he immediately forwarded to the mayor's office.
"I already received feedback that one street was being done," Budnick wrote in the comments section of his letter shortly after.
A comment posted below Budnick's lauded the Councilman for his take-charge correspondence:
"Mr. Budnick responded and helped us out by informing DPW that our road was not plowed and I am so happy to say that because he got on top of a crummy situation ... I will finally see my 8 month old after 5 days. You have no idea how much I genuinely appreciate that at midnite tonight, instead of going home or calling it quits for the day, our road is plowed. A million thank you's to all that are working tirelessly to get us all out.
Additional notes from Dillon: Trash and recycling pickup is suspended for the remainder of the week and will resume Monday, Feb. 18. Please remain off of the roads if at all possible as additional traffic will only hinder recovery efforts. I would like to remind residents that we still under a state of emergency. I ask that you remain safe and I thank you for your continued patience.
Stratford Public Schools are closed today but are still scheduled to reopen Wednesday, as of 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Updated Sunday 1 p.m.
Stratford has hired outside contractors and neighboring municipalities are providing mutual aid to help clear several town roads that have not been plowed since Friday.
The round-the-clock cleanup effort will continue over the next several days, says Marc Dillon, the mayor's chief of staff.
"It is expected to take a couple of days to hit every street due to the record snowfall," he wrote in an email to Stratford Patch.
All town facilities and schools are closed Monday and Tuesday.
There is no plowing schedule available that would list the estimated times roads would be cleared. Dillon said public works clear main roads and arteries first, then side roads, then dead ends.
One resident commenting on Patch said she was told by a worker at the emergency operations center that the goal Sunday is to have at least one side of every road cleared by the end of the day.
"We are asking employers to be mindful that many employees are unable to make it in to work," Dillon said. "This fact should be considered when deciding whether or not to open any business."
Rumors surfaced Saturday that the town's plows ran out of diesel fuel. Those were denied by Dillon.
There have been at least two reports of plows getting stuck on Stratford roads. Dillion said in addition to the 36 plows the town has at its disposal, there are 18 payloaders (town and contractors) working to clear the roads.
"And we are constantly reaching out to bring in more equipment to help with the cleanup," he added.
With accumulations in some spots topping four or five feet, a payloader sometimes must clear the way before a plow can come through.
The town is urging residents to stay off the roads, arguing additional traffic will only hinder recovery efforts. The town remains under a state of emergency.
Residents are being asked to remain patient.
"Please remember this is an unprecedented snowfall, likely a once in 100-year storm," Dillon said.
Calls seeking comment from the town's emergency operations center (203.380.6757) were not successful (busy signal).
Updated Saturday 4 p.m.
Stratford Public Works crews will work around the clock for the next 24 to 48 hours until all town roads are cleared.
"Every resource available to public works is on the road, including subcontractors," Marc Dillon, the mayor's chief of staff, told Patch in an email. "I'd estimate that number to be 36 plows, 32 salt/sanders. Additionally, multiple payloaders are out removing snow."
Dillon said the historic proportions of the storm, the sheer volume of snow -- five feet in many spots -- is making it difficult and time-consuming to plow.
During the height of the storm, some public safety and public works vehicle became temporarily trapped, as was the case with many municipalties in the state, Dillon said.
The town is asking residents who have fire hydrants near their homes to clear the area around the hydrant in the event fire officials need to use it.
And although Governor Malloy has lifted the travel ban on all roads, Dillon urged residents to stay home as "any traffic on roads will hinder recovery efforts."
For additional information, residents can call the Emergency Operations Center at 203.380.6757.
Updated Saturday 12 p.m.
No doubt the Blizzard of 2013 will be remembered as an historic one here in Stratford.
Several residents posting on the Stratford Patch Facebook page say accumulations in their backyard reach and even exceed three feet of snow.
"I have 4 feet on my road!!" wrote Angela Ovchar. "And easily 9 foot drifts, so I could care less about inches, I have 6 feet at my front door!!!"
"My Canadian husband has surveyed the land and says: 36". He was nice enough to convert it from metric for us," posted Elizabeth Howard.
"I live off Nichols," wrote Pani Stanton. "I've heard snow plows all morning...but my street has to easily have 3 feet"
Updated Saturday 9:30 a.m.
Mayor John A. Harkins has declared a state of emergency in Stratford, meaning all roads are closed indefinitely to non-public safety and non-public works personnel.
"Staying off the roads will allow town crews to start opening roadways," a statement from Harkins reads. "Many roads are impassable, and it is expected that it will take 24-48 hours to clear all roadways in Stratford.
"For anyone needing additional information or assistance, please call the blizzard hotline at 203.380.6757."
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has ordered the same travel ban for the entire state.
Updated Saturday 2 a.m.
The following chart contains accumulation totals from about 9:30 p.m. Friday to 12 a.m Saturday. The figures come from followers of the Stratford Patch Facebook page.
Snow will continue to blanket the area until it lets up at about 12 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS)
Stratford and surrounding areas remain under a Blizzard Warning until 1 p.m. Saturday. Total accumulation will fall somewhere between 20 and 36 inches, according the NWS.MeasurementLocationTime12" Longbrook Park 11 p.m. 9" Paradise Green 11 p.m. 8" St. Mark area 9:30 p.m. 13" Elm Street 11 p.m. 12" Lordship 11 p.m. 14" Paradise Green 11 p.m. 18" Lordship 11 p.m. 13.5" Woodlawn Avenue 11 p.m. 13" Cove Place 11 p.m. 18" North Stratford 11 p.m. 15" Near Devon 11 p.m. 21.6" Lordship 11 p.m. 15" Beaver Dam 12 a.m. 19" Paradise Green 12 a.m. 28" Elm Street 9:30 a.m. 36" Hilltop Drive 12:30 p.m. (Sat) 29" Wells Place 2:30 p.m.
How much snow did you wake up to Saturday morning? Tell us in the comments and we'll add it to the chart.
Also: Click here to see photos of local snowfall and/or to add your own.
Updated Friday 10 p.m.
Service on Metro-North has been suspended until further notice.
Updated Friday 7:30 p.m.
Metro-North will operate with limited service between 8 p.m. Friday and 1 a.m. Saturday.
On the Hudson Line, there will be hourly service in both directions. On the New Haven and Harlem Lines, there will be hourly inbound (to NY) service and half-hourly outbound service out of Grand Central.
There is the potential for further service reductions as the severity of the storm intensifies. See http://alert.mta.info/status/3 for schedules/details.
Updated Friday 5:15 p.m.
A travel ban is in effect on the state's limited access highways for all non-emergency vehicles.
"As the weather gets worse over the next few hours, we need to keep the roads clear, so that emergency-related personnel and utility crews can reach those that may need our help," Governor Malloy P. Dannel said in a statement released to the media this afternoon.
"By traveling in these conditions, you are not only putting yourself in danger, but you are potentially risking the lives of first responders, utility workers and other residents. Please be safe."
The travel ban will remain in effect until further notice.
The state of Connecticut coordinated the travel ban with Massachusetts and New York.
Updated Friday 3 p.m.
A few blizzard-related articles that have been posted on Stratford Patch over the last couple hours:
PHOTOS: Blizzard Blankets Stratford: Use this space to share snow photos and accumulation totals with your neighbors.
VIDEO: 'I Got to Get the Bread and Milk': YouTube video reminds us to relax -- we will, in fact, make it through this storm.
SFD Issues Safety Reminders for Blizzard: Tips on how to stay safe during the blizzard, which is expected to drop upwards of 15 inches in Stratford Friday into Saturday.
Updated Friday 11:15 a.m.
Limited access highways may be subject to closure as early as noon, according to a statement just released from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office.
"The governor is asking all residents to limit nonessential travel," the statement said.
Malloy: "People need to take this storm seriously. If current predictions are accurate, we will need people to stay off the roads so that emergency personnel and utility crews can get to the places they need to get to, and to make sure that our plows can keep critical roadways clear. Please stay home once the weather gets bad except in the case of real emergency."
Malloy will declare a state of emergency, which will give him a number of emergency powers, including:
- The ability to modify or suspend any state statute, regulation, or requirement (for example: altering work hours, waiving licensing requirements, etc.)
- The ability to order civil preparedness forces into action
- The ability to designate vehicle and person routes and movements
Updated Friday 10 a.m.
A town-wide parking ban is now in effect, according to a message on the Facebook page of Mayor John A. Harkins.
Updated Friday 2 a.m.
Stratford schools and all municipal facilities will be closed Friday due to the impending snow storm, town officials announced late Thursday.
Earlier in the day Mayor John A. Harkins met with emergency officials and the following preparations are underway:
- 34 snowplows, 30 salt/sand spreaders, 500 tons of salt are prepped and ready to go.
- Public Works Department will be fully staffed and operational as of 4 a.m. Friday.
- Emergency Operations Center at fire headquarters will be partially activated as of 8 a.m. Friday.
- All public safety and essential town personnel are available and on stand-by.
"It seems clear based on the weather forecasts we have seen that we will be hit by a significant winter storm," Harkins said. "Residents are advised to take all necessary precautions in advance of the storm. Town personnel are prepped and ready, but we don't yet know how long the storm and its aftermath will be impacting the region."
The latest forecast from the National Weather Service is calling for 15 to 25 inches of snow to blanket Stratford, with the heaviest period of accumulation late Friday night. The service has issued a Blizzard Warning as well as a Coastal Flood Warning for the area.
Here's how they say it will play out:
Friday: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 35. Breezy, with a northeast wind 14 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
Friday night: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 21. Windy, with a north wind 24 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 10 to 14 inches possible.
Saturday: Snow likely, mainly before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. Windy, with a north wind 22 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 11. Blustery, with a northwest wind 11 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.
Stratford Forecast to Get 9-14 Inches
Snow showers to begin overnight Thursday and intensify Friday evening.
By Saturday afternoon, Stratford could be blanketed with more than a foot of snow.
The National Weather Service is forecasting 9 to 14 inches of snow for Stratford, with the heaviest periods of accumulation late Friday night.
Here's a more detailed look at our local forecast for the next 36 hours:
Tonight: A chance of snow, mainly after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 25. East wind 7 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Friday: Snow before 3 p.m., then rain. The rain and snow could be heavy at times. High near 36. East wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Friday night: Snow with areas of blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 23. Windy, with a north wind 21 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.
Saturday: Snow likely with areas of blowing snow before noon, then a slight chance of snow between noon and 3pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 30. Windy, with a north wind 25 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent.