MONROE, CT — March may be nearing its midway point, but Old Man Winter isn’t done with us yet. Weather forecasters predict a nor’easter bringing rain, snow and wind to the region Monday into Wednesday.
“Reports seem to have tapered back,” Public Works Director Chris Nowacki said Monday afternoon. “There are a lot of pieces in the forecast that are in flux. The latest forecast shows our area in the three-to-six range. The benefit is we will see this in the morning, rather than an overnight storm.”
Nowacki said residents should plan ahead and keep their vehicles off the road, so plow truck drivers can operate, clearing snow and spreading salt on Monroe’s roads.
“They are forecasting some heavy, wet snow,” he said.
He said all residents should already have contact numbers for utilities and service providers handy. To report power outages, call the power company, not the police department, he added.
“It’s winter, we should always expect everything and prepare for the worst.” — Chris Nowacki, director Monroe Public Works
However, if there are downed trees and power lines, Nowacki said people should stay away from it and call police. The general number is 203-261-3622.
He said the Highway Department will have its full fleet of drivers ready to go, and will draw upon private contractors and equipment as needed. Deputy Public Works Director Bill Phillips ordered more salt since last storm, so Nowacki said the town is in good shape.
“It’s winter, we should always expect everything and prepare for the worst,” Nowacki said. “All drivers are at the ready. We work well with other community services.”
Eversource ready to respond
Eversource Energy issued a press release saying the company is prepositioning equipment and line and tree crews at its work centers around the state to respond to any damage or outages caused by this storm. Eversource also brought in additional out-of-state crews to assist with restoring power to customers, if needed.
“We began monitoring this storm last week using several weather services and continue to closely watch its path and will adjust our plan as needed,” said Eversource President of Connecticut Electric Operations Steve Sullivan.
“The heavy, wet snow and hazardous winds forecasted have the potential to bring down trees and branches onto electric lines and equipment, causing damage and power outages,” he said. “The hazardous conditions can also make travel challenging for our crews, so we’re staging extra staff and equipment in our work centers across the state to ensure we’re ready to respond as quickly as possible to whatever this storm brings.”
Eversource urges customers to always stay clear of downed wires, report them immediately to 911 and report any outage online at www.eversource.com or by calling 800-286-2000. Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen.
Town storm information
First Selectman Ken Kellogg posted storm information on the town website.
He reminds residents of a town ordinance prohibiting parking on the side of the road during storms with heavy snowfall. Violators’ could be fined and their vehicles may be towed.
Kellogg said roadways are plowed and treated by priority. Main roads are done first, with special attention given to steep hills and difficult intersections. Then the town attends to side roads and cul-de-sacs.
“During heavy snowfall, side roads may remain unplowed if the main roads require repeated plowing,” Kellogg said. “While this may seem unfair to the residents of side roads and cul-de-sacs, please understand that our main roads must remain open.”
The Connecticut Department of Transportation plows and treats state roads, including routes 25, 34, 59, 110 and 111.
Private plow operators are not permitted to leave snow on public roads.
The first selectman explained how snow is plowed to the driver’s right side, often ending up in front of driveways. He said homeowners are responsible for access to there driveways.
The only way to avoid extra shoveling is to wait until crews have done their final clean up on the road, according to Kellogg.