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‘Sno kidding: Weather service calling for ‘historic’ storm

NORWALK, Conn. – Are we ready for Snowmageddon?

All indications are that, at least to some degree, the region is going to get whacked by Mother Nature, and this time – for Norwalk and environs – it’s personal.

Norwalk often escapes these “weather events” (as meteorologists are wont to call them), given our geographic characteristics, stagnant property values and punitive tax rate.

Oops. Too much time moderating the comment section.

This time, though, the National Weather Service is upping the ante for Norwalk. For all intents and purposes, NWS is calling for 17 to 28 inches, give or take a couple inches, with high winds, single-digit wind chills and near zero visibility. From a Sunday afternoon NWS alert: ”

"CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD TO IMPACT THE AREA
FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY..."

In short, no pizza delivery Monday night or Tuesday.

Michelle DeLuca, Norwalk Fire Department’s deputy director, Emergency Management, sent out the following missive:

“As the region prepares for the first significant storm of the New Year, the City of Norwalk urges residents to take precautions to keep safe during severe winter weather. … A long duration (36-hour), high-impact blizzard/Nor’easter is expected. High winds are a concern since the chance of power outages increases. Residents should be prepared for outages and make sure they have supplies on hand. …

“Cooperation from residents and businesses can be very helpful to the efficient and timely removal of snow and ice and the restoration of safe travel in the city.”

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Stay off the roads, unless travel is essential. If you must drive, make sure you have a full tank of gas and emergency supplies in case you are stranded.
  • If you need medication refills, food or other critical supplies, take time on Monday morning to complete these tasks.
  • Remove vehicles from the street. If a snow emergency is declared, vehicle owners parked on Emergency Response Routes may be ticketed and towed.
  • Clear snow and ice from sidewalks and footpaths that adjoin your property and clear fire hydrants as soon as possible.
  • Drivers must make sure their vision is not impaired by ice or snow and snow must be removed from roofs etc. so it does not slide off and impact or impair other operators.
  • DO NOT shovel or plow snow into the street after the DPW snow plow has begun clearing the street.
  • Remove soccer goals, basketball hoops and other such items from the sides of the streets. Remove holiday decorations that may become airborne in high winds.
  • If you have a true medical emergency, contact 911 for assistance, otherwise refrain from calling Police, Fire, Public Works or Customer Service to find out when your street will be plowed. Such calls detract from the City’s attention to the task at hand. Crews will be working diligently with available resources to clear all City streets as quickly as possible.
  • Be prepared for power outages. Keep your cell phone charged and have flashlights, batteries and other supplies. If you lose power, use flashlights or light sticks rather than candles, which can cause an added fire risk.

Residents should monitor this storm on local media, and can also get social media updates through Facebook NorwalkOEM or Twitter @Norwalk_OEM.

Snow cleanup usually takes between 16 and 24 hours from the end of a snowstorm. Cooperation in these activities will allow for quicker and more effective clearance of all city streets. For questions or for more information, including winter safety tips and the City’s snow removal policy, visit www.norwalkct.org or www.ready.gov 

But wait, there’s more…

The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) offers the following eight last minute tips to help protect your family and home:

  • Gather together an emergency kit and include flashlights, batteries, blankets, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, non-perishable food, a can opener, cash, and an external battery pack for mobile devices.
  • Organize layers of loose fitting, lightweight; warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Use all heaters, fireplaces, generators and other appliances safely by remembering ventilation and avoiding use in wet areas. Never burn charcoal indoors.
  • Fill up your car fuel tank at least half full in case of a prolonged power outage as gas stations rely on electricity to operate pumps and may not have a generator.
  • Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345) if you cannot safely shelter at home.
  • Insulate pipes exposed to the elements or cold drafts with insulating foam. For as little as $1 per 6 feet of insulation, you can stop pipes from freezing and save energy. If you cannot purchase insulating foam in time, consider wrapping towels around pipes and fastening them with duct tape.
  • Place an insulating dome or other covering on outdoor faucets and spigots to help prevent inside the pipes from freezing, expanding and causing costly leaks.
  • Drip faucets to reduce the build-up of pressure in the pipes. Even if the pipes freeze, you have released the pressure from the water system reducing the likelihood of a rupture. If you are going out of town, and suspect that temperatures will drop or a power outage will occur, turn off the water to your home and open all of the taps to drain the water system to avoid returning to wet and damaged flooring, walls and electrical.

And, from the governor’s office:

In order to be prepared for any type of emergency situation, the Governor encourages residents to have an emergency supply kit and follow some basic preparedness tips.

Items to be included in the kit:

  • One gallon of bottled water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for you and your pet
  • A three-day supply of prescription medication
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes
  • Plastic trash bags and ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Extra fuel (stored in a safe container) for the power generator

Additional preparedness tips:

  • In the event emergency travel is necessary, fill up your car with gas, check oil and windshield fluid levels
  • Sign up for emergency alerts at www.ctalert.gov
  • And always, check on your neighbor

 

Comments

One response to “‘Sno kidding: Weather service calling for ‘historic’ storm”

  1. Norewalk Lifer

    Everyone be safe, and hopefully, this storm will be kinder to us than the forecasts portend.

    Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

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