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Norwalk: stay off roads, check on the elderly

Norwalk snowstorm Feb. 2 2013 243
An Edgewood Road resident clears snow Saturday afternoon in Norwalk.

NORWALK, Conn. – A snow emergency remains in effect in Norwalk, where city officials predict icy road conditions overnight. Extreme cold is expected and residents are asked to check on elderly or infirm relatives and neighbors to ensure they are safe.

The snow stopped falling at about 7 a.m., city officials said in a press release. By noon snow had been pushed back to the curb on all the main roads, which were also salted. Business owners and residents are reminded of the responsibility to clear walks in front of homes and businesses. Residents are also asked to clear access to fire hydrants.

The statewide travel ban was lifted at 4 p.m. but Norwalk residents are advised in the press release to use extreme caution if they find it necessary to drive this evening. The blowing wind (gusting at 30 mph as of 6 p.m. according to the National Weather Service) continues to produce drifts and very cold temperatures may cause icy conditions on roads. The National Weather Service predicts a low temperatures of 10 degrees, which will feel like -1 degree with an 8 mph wind blowing from the north-northwest.

Residents are reminded that vehicles must be removed from all snow emergency routes. To facilitate snow plowing residents are asked to remove cars from all public roadways. Covered parking lots – Maritime Yards and Yankee Doodle Garages – remain free of charge through the remainder of the snow emergency.

City residents have been responsible as they weathered the storm, Mayor Richard Moccia said in the press release. “Nearly everyone stayed safely off the roads, and very few expressed unrealistic demands for their circumstances to take precedence over others,” he said. “I appreciate the patience and understanding shown by citizens.”

About 150 people contacted customer service, the release said.

Department of Public Works personnel have been on duty since early Friday morning; plowing operations have been continuous except for a brief period during whiteout conditions last night, the release said. The work has been done with 28 plow trucks, manned by one driver, deployed in 26 defined snow plow routes covering 625 lane-miles of city roadway. At noon approximately 600 tons of salt and 1,000 tons of liquid salt brine had been applied. City owned sidewalks are being cleared by hand and two pieces of removal equipment.

All roads are expected to be passable by 8 p.m. and school parking lot plowing completed by 4 a.m. Sunday. The news is good, the release said: Norwalk police and fire departments are fully staffed and responding to all calls for service. All police, fire and EMS radio systems are fully operational. All 911 phone lines and routine phone lines are fully operational. All radio transmitter sites are operating on (normal) grid power.

Norwalk Transit plans to operate Sunday shuttles tomorrow serving South Norwalk, Route 7 and Connecticut Avenue. All branches of the Norwalk Public Library are expected to open Monday morning.

Moccia thanked to the city’s workforce in the release, saying they worked tirelessly during the storm. “Many of our employees have worked around the clock in order to ensure safe and convenient conditions for our residents,” he said. “I am proud of their dedication and note that our employees have been called all too frequently to devote extra effort because of storms. I genuinely appreciate their commitment.”

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