UPDATE at 6 a.m. Feb. 14:
Route 31 is closed to traffic at the Interstate 84 overpass due to a tractor trailer accident.
According to the state Department of Transportation, the accident took place around 1:30 a.m. Reports over the scanner indicated that the trailer may have been traveling on 84 when it crashed, and that it then topped down the overpass onto Route 31 below. There was no word on any potential injuries.
The DOT estimates it could take up to 12 hours to clear.
The accident in Vernon is but one being reported this morning by the DOT. There have also been tractor trailer accidents in Windsor, on I-91 south, and Westport, on I-95 north.
Given the volume of accidents this morning, the DOT says it will not be reporting every incident; only those that have major impacts on the state's roadways.
In a message noting the slippery conditions, the DOT writes:
"Inclement weather such as snow or ice during winter storms may cause numerous accidents to occur on state highways. Most accidents are not reported by the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Connecticut State Police due to the unusually high number of incidents. However, reports will be provided on incidents that cause the MAJOR HIGHWAYS to be closed for a long period of time."
UPDATE at 6:55 p.m. Feb. 13:
As the sleet and freezing rain slowly falls now, encouraging many residents to come outside to shovel and dig themselves out, you may think that the worst part of today's storm is over.
Another round of heavy snow is headed our way late tonight, with snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour, according to the latest National Weather Service winter storm warning.
The light freezing rain will gradually change over to sleet and snow as the evening moves along, and then change to all snow around midnight — becoming heavy at times.
Even a few rumbles of thunder are possible, as the unsettled weather pattern moves through the region overnight.
Additional accumulations of snow and ice of 4 to 9 inches are expected, with statewide totals reaching anywhere from 10 to 22 inches of snow.
UPDATE at 6:35 p.m.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has declared a state of emergency in hopes of securing federal funding, as many towns face road salt shortages, given the number of winter weather events so far this season.
UPDATE at 11:25 a.m.
It looks as though the near blizzard conditions the area has been experiencing since earlier this morning, will now continue well into the afternoon.
The National Weather service just issued an updated special weather statement warning the heavy snowfall — up to 2 to 4 inches an hour — and high guts will continue to sit over the region for a few more hours.
"Snow will gradually mix with or change to sleet from south to north during this time period," the meteorologists report, adding an additional 3 to 6 inches of snow are possible through the early afternoon.
UPDATE at 8:50 a.m. on Thursday
The National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement warning of "near blizzard conditions" this morning along the southern portion of the state.
As the latest band of heavy snow sits atop the region, snow fall rates will be in the 2 to 4 inches per hour range. That heavy snow along with rising wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour will significantly reduce visibility.
The blizzard-like conditions are expected to ease as the temperature rises and a wintry mix develops.
"Snow will mix with and possibly change to sleet and rain late this afternoon and evening, before changing back to all snow tonight," the meteorologists stated in their report. "The snow will taper off after midnight."
The coastal flood watch for coastal Connecticut is no longer in effect, according to the National Weather Service's latest weather updates.
The current winter storm warning, however, remains in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.
UPDATE AT 8:40 p.m.
The Vernon Public School district will be closed tomorrow due to the approaching nor'easter.
The following is a press release from the Vernon Mayor's Office.
Mayor Daniel Champagne is urging Vernon residents to be proactive in preparing for Winter Storm Pax, expected to bring heavy wet snow and high wind gusts to the state beginning tomorrow morning and ending sometime Friday morning.
“I have met with the town’s emergency-preparedness staff regarding storm preparation measures” said Mayor Champagne. “Our Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring the weather and will open the town’s Emergency Operations Center should conditions warrant it."
Additionally, I wish to remind residents of the following items:
- A Parking Ban on all roadways will be in effect beginning Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 06:00 am until Friday February 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm. Violators will be ticketed and/or towed.
- Refuse collection has been cancelled for Thursday, February 13, 2014 and will resume on Friday February 14, 2014 for both Thursday’s and Friday’s routes. Recycling collection has been cancelled for both Thursday and Friday. Residents may drop off recycling at the Transfer Station on Saturday February 15, 2014 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Stay away from DOWNED POWER LINES and report emergencies and downed lines to 911. If you experience a POWER OUTAGE, call Connecticut Light and Power at (800) 286-2000 to report it. Do not assume outages have been reported.
- Keep appraised of watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service and to be proactive in securing food, water, basic emergency supplies and personal medical supplies.
- Avoid CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) POISONING. Always use portable generators, camp stoves, and grills outside and 20 feet away from windows, doors, and vents to prevent deadly CO poisoning.
For additional information and updates go to vernon-ct.gov.