Storm Comes To An End, But Freezing Temperatures Remain
There have been 230 accidents on Connecticut roadways, 25 of them with injuries, since the start of the winter storm blanketing the state with more than six inches of snow.
At a noon briefing from the Emergency Operations Center at the State Armory in Hartford, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked travelers to only use the roads to get to and from work.
“Optional travel should be kept to a minimum,” Malloy said.
By noon Friday the state highways were in “pretty good shape” according to Malloy, but some of the secondary roads were still covered in snow.
Malloy said there was a report of a serious accident on Route 8 between a piece of Transportation Department equipment and a passenger vehicle, but he had few details to share.
Aaron Kupec, public affairs manager at AAA, said they responded to 1,122 calls for service on Thursday and, as of 1 p.m. Friday, had responded to another 700. However, he expects those numbers will increase Saturday as more and more drivers decide it’s safe to venture out.
By this evening the state could see temperatures drop below 15 degrees in some areas with a wind chill pushing temperatures even lower in some instances. The state’s cold weather protocol remains in effect and Malloy asked individuals to stay inside.
He said the state received 127 calls from individuals looking for shelter information Thursday evening. The shelters are operating at about 120 percent of capacity and are allowing individuals to stay during the day Friday.
“Don’t put your tongue on a flagpole today,” Malloy joked in giving one of his cold weather tips.
He said there are more cold weather tips, such as leaving kitchen cabinet doors open if pipes are subject to freezing, on the state’s website. Another tip to ensure pipes don’t freeze is to allow a small amount of water to drip from the faucet.
A former mayor himself, Malloy has been through several winter storms and as governor he has had to declare at least five weather emergencies, but this storm was the first test for some new mayors like Toni Harp in New Haven and David Martin in Stamford.
Malloy said he hadn’t spoken with either mayor, but his staff has been in touch with Harp.
“Things seem to be working out pretty well,” Malloy said. “Again, this was not a gigantic snowfall. It’s a snowfall in very cold weather.”
Mark Ojakian, Malloy’s chief of staff, said he spoke with Harp on Friday morning and everything seemed to be going smoothly.
“It wasn’t a blizzard, but it was a good dress rehearsal,” Ojakian said.