FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – With the forecast calling for 18 inches of snow or more across Fairfield County, Gov. Dannel Malloy has ordered a statewide travel ban beginning at 5 a.m. Tuesday and remaining in effect until further notice.
The entire state is under a Blizzard Warning from late Monday until late Tuesday as a powerful nor'easter prepares to slam the area. A Blizzard Warning extends from Philadelphia to the New York metro area up to Boston, according to the National Weather Service.
Malloy has signed an order proclaiming a civil preparedness emergency in Connecticut ahead of the storm, which will be the worst of the winter and cause dangerous travel conditions.
“Snowfall is expected to begin shortly before sunrise and will increase quickly, with peak blizzard conditions reached only several hours later. Everyone in Connecticut is urged to plan ahead – wherever you are at sunrise Tuesday morning, expect to remain there throughout the remainder of the storm and into the night,” Malloy said.
The travel ban prohibits all vehicular traffic, including passenger vehicles, from all state roads, with the exception of emergency response and recovery vehicles, including public safety vehicles, utility vehicles, and vehicles carrying essential personnel or supplies.
“With snow coming down at rates in excess of 3 to 4 inches per hour at points and winds reaching as much at 60 mph, whiteout conditions will severely limit visibility. Residents are urged to make safety a priority and to not make any attempt to travel.”
In addition, Malloy is activating the state’s Emergency Operations Center starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday. He is also directing all nonessential first- and second-shift state employees to not report to work Tuesday.The latest forecast has snowfall beginning between 3 and 5 a.m. Tuesday with blizzard conditions expected by 9 a.m.
With winds reaching as much as 50 mph inland and 60 mph on the coast, there will be whiteout conditions for as much as six hours.
The snow is expected to taper off between 10 p.m. and midnight Tuesday with final counts of 10 to 15 inches along the southeast coast, 16 to 20 inches at the southwest coast, 20 to 28 inches across central and western Connecticut, and 24 to 30 inches in the northwest hills and higher elevations.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has spent Monday pretreating roadways. It has 634 plow trucks and 250 private contract plow operators on standby. CTDOT is responsible for more than 10,000 lane miles of roads in Connecticut.
More than 35,000 lane miles of roads are maintained by Connecticut cities and towns.
The state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol has also been activated through 8 a.m. Thursday, March 16. A listing of all available shelters and warming centers that are open throughout the state can be found by calling 2-1-1 or visiting www.211ct.org.
For continuous updates throughout the duration of the storm, click here . to visit the State of Connecticut’s official winter storm website.