Historic snowfall amounts and prevailing blizzard conditions that have left the state at a virtual standstill served as the backdrop for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's briefing this morning. The governor urged residents to stay home so that state and local public works crews can begin clearing roads. And he asked folks to be patient as the cleanup is expected to take some time.
“This is going to go on for a number of days,” Malloy said.
The priority right now, he said, is clearing roads in southeastern Connecticut, where approximately 39,000 households are without power. Those are primarily CL&P customers, Malloy said.
The utility, the state's largest, is amassing crews so that restoration efforts can begin once roads are clear and winds, which are still gusting upwards of 50 miles per hour, subside.
Cars stranded on state and local roads are expected to prolong the cleanup effort, Malloy said. He will update residents on progress at 6 p.m.
In the meantime, he offered a few safety tips:
- Make sure vents to household appliances like dryers are not blocked by snow. If blocked, carbon monoxide could build up inside and prove deadly.
- Generators should be properly ventilated to the outdoors.
- If you live near a fire hydrant, dig it out so firemen can access in the event of an emergency.
Responding to Emergencies
With many roads impassable, Malloy said that he is working with municipalities to make sure they have the necessary vehicles to respond to emergency calls. Many vehicles like ambulances cannot travel through two feet of snow, so four-wheel drive vehicles are in operation.
Municipalities also have open lines of communication between public works and emergency responders so that they can make sure their routes are clear.
Elderly Woman Killed, Temperatures Dropping
Malloy said the blizzard has claimed the life of at least one resident. The woman, an 80 or 81-year-old Prospect resident, was reportedly hit by a vehicle while snow blowing her driveway last night. The vehicle that struck her did not stop, he said.
With temperatures expected to dip tonight, and some without power, the governor said he is working with municipalities to open shelters where necessary, and provide transportation to those who may need it, especially the elderly.
To find out if a shelter is open in your town, call 2-1-1.