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Storm update: The big dig is on

Marissa Skor sleds down her driveway on Brier Brook Road. —Jennifer Skor photo

Marissa Skor sleds down her driveway on Brier Brook Road. —Jennifer Skor photo

The travel ban put in place throughout Connecticut after the impact of the blizzard’s heavy snowfall will likely remain in place throughout Saturday according to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

According to unofficial figures from the National Weather Service that were released Saturday  morning, Weston received up to 26.5 inches of snow in some areas.

Mr. Malloy briefed the press Saturday morning and called the storm “record breaking” while noting that some parts of Connecticut received as much as 38 inches of snow on the ground. Because of that, the governor is continuing to urge people to stay in their homes and off the roads so plows and work crews can clear them and emergency vehicles can get through.

Mr. Malloy said there have been problems with cars stuck on the roads, stranding drivers and the state does not want to see that added to. Mr. Malloy ordered the travel ban Saturday morning, saying it’s “essential that travel be limited to emergency personnel.” He added that this will help work in clearing the roads be accomplished much more rapidly and “get back to normal much more rapidly then if the roads are clogged with traffic.” He admitted that cleanup is expected to take days to complete.

“I would expect we would keep the travel ban in place through today,” Mr. Malloy said Saturday morning. “Again, the purpose is to encourage people to stay home and stay off the roads.”

He said the main priority is to clear roads. “We have crews throughout the state working on state roads. Municipal governments are working on municipal roads as well, he said.”

A snow drift really “measures up’” at a home on Kellogg Hill Road. —Tara Tanzer photo

Mr. Malloy said he had been in contact with municipal leaders on Saturday morning and said state assistance would be available as soon as possible to individual communities. Work has to be completed on state roads first, though.

According to Mr. Malloy, the state police have responded to approximately 1,600 calls within the last 24 hours. There are 270 National Guard members on duty right now with “a few hundred more” coming into armories around the state. Mr. Malloy said they would be assigned tasks for both the state and municipal governments in Connecticut.

“If it’s not an essential call and the area can’t be reached, then they can put that off,” Mr. Malloy said. “On the other hand, with respect to other calls they can use 4×4 vehicles to respond when they know ambulances can’t respond.”

Mr. Malloy said as of 11 a.m. on Saturday, there were 39,000 customers without power mostly in the Southeastern part of the state. Weston has been spared major outages so far, which is a big change from the last major snowstorm to hit the area, the 2011 Halloween storm, where residents were left without service for days.  Mr. Malloy urged residents to clear off areas where snow is blocking fire hydrants in front of their homes and for their individual homes make sure and clear off vents to avoid any potential backup of dangerous CO into the house. He also reminded residents throughout the state that if they are using generators they have to be ventilated outside of the home and not in garages to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

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