MONROE, CT — Winter Storm Anthony, as it’s been dubbed by WFSB Connecticut News, promises to bring the first significant snowfall to the region tonight, continuing into Tuesday morning.
On Monday afternoon, Public Works Director Chris Nowacki said the town’s salt storage and fleet of plow trucks are in good shape ahead of the storm.
“It’s an after hours storm,” he said during an interview at Monroe Town Hall. “It’s after rush hour and overnight into the morning, so it allows the traveling public a chance to get home and minimizes traffic on the roadway.”
The lighter traffic allows plow truck drivers more room to work clearing snow and spreading material on the roughly 140 miles of roads in Monroe.
Meteorologists are predicting anywhere from four to 10 inches of accumulation, but so far, Nowacki noted temperatures are expected to remain above freezing.
He said all 18 High Department drivers are on hand, in addition to three Parks and Recreation drivers and three private contractors, who will work as needed.
The Parks and Recreation Department drivers plow the driveways and parking lots of town owned properties, the parks, municipal buildings and fire houses.
In the event of emergency calls during the storm, Nowacki said his crew ensures the roads are clear for police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances.
Nowacki said public safety is always the main concern during winter storms and advised people not to drive tonight if they do not have to.
For those who do go out during the storm, he said, “it’s inclement weather, allow yourself some time and some space between the other drivers in front of you — this includes plow trucks.”
First Selectman Ken Kellogg posted storm information on the town website Monday.
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.
Eversource issued a press release saying the company is bringing in hundreds of additional crews into the state, as well as checking equipment and supplies in preparation of the storm.
The power company also encourages its customers to prepare for the possibility of outages.
“We’ve been keeping a close eye on this storm, monitoring several forecasts for the last several days and are ready to respond and will adjust our plan if needed,” said Steve Sullivan, Eversource’s president of Connecticut Electric Operations.
“We will have crews prepositioned around the state before the storm hits so they can quickly respond, but we remind customers the snow and wind could cause visibility issues and travel problems, making it more challenging for our crews to get to damage locations and restore power.”
As reminders, Eversource urges customers to always stay clear of downed wires and to report them immediately to 911. Be sure to report any outage online at 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.
Eversource natural gas customers should be aware that some natural gas heating systems may be affected by a power outage and it’s important to keep gas meters and outdoor vents clear of snow and ice buildup.
Customers should carefully remove snow and ice with a broom or by hand. Do not use a shovel or kick the gas meter which can damage the meter. Customers should also immediately leave their home or business if they smell gas and call 911.