An early November snowstorm following Hurricane Sandy dumped about four inches of snow on the ground, but was pretty much a snoozer according to officials.
The storm, named Winter Storm Athena by the Weather Channel, arrived early afternoon on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and was pretty much finished by early evening, despite a winter weather advisory in effect until 6 a.m. the next day.
The storm followed on the heels of Superstorm Sandy, which tore through Weston nine days earlier, uprooting trees and knocking out power lines. Athena was much gentler. “It was a non-event,” said John Ojarovsky the town’s communications center director.
Weston Police Chief John Troxell stayed at the Weston Police Station from 7 a.m. on Wednesday until midnight riding out the storm. “We got lucky on this one,” he said.
The chief compared Sandy and Athena to last year’s storms Irene and Alfred, which also caused substantial problems. Irene hit the area hard in August 2011, while snowstorm Alfred hit in October.
But unlike Alfred, which caused significant power outages in Weston, the outages from Athena were minimal and most people were back on the grid quickly. Chief Troxell said the fact that Athena hit so quickly after Sandy was to the town’s advantage. “There were a lot of utility crews still in the area from Sandy so problems were corrected quickly,” he said.
While the town was still cleaning up trees from Sandy, Athena knocked down a few more in town. But no injuries or accidents were reported from it.
According to the police log, calls were received about slick roads starting around 4 p.m. Around 7:30 p.m., the department received calls about disabled and stuck vehicles on Norfield Road and Weston Road. They also received calls about a downed tree and wires on Greenlea Lane.
Around 8:30 p.m., there was a call about a tree on fire on Goodhill Road. Weston Fire Chief John Pokorny said it was an electrical fire. With Connecticut Light and Power crews in the vicinity, the fire was extinguished quickly and no damage was reported.
Weston public schools had an early dismissal on Wednesday and a two-hour delayed opening on Thursday.
David Lustberg, transportation coordinator for the school district, said there were no problems with the buses, and everything was in order and cleared safely with no incidents.
School kids took advantage of the extra time off by building snowmen and playing in the white stuff.
Residents seemed very prepared for Athena and stayed off the roads for the most part until the storm ended. The town’s public works crews prepared for Athena by treating the roads in advance so they would be easier to clean once the snow hit.
“It’s bizarre,” Chief Troxell said. “For two years in a row now we’ve had a hurricane followed soon after by a snowstorm.”
He said the department’s Humvees were utilized to assist the fire department and place cones on the roads.
The department also utilized all terrain and utility vehicles to get around blocked roads throughout Sandy and Athena.