'Historic' storm takes its act elsewhere
Updated 4:51 pm, Monday, February 16, 2015
More than two feet of snow were reported, however, in eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and eastern Massachsetts.
Appromiately 6 to 10 inches of snow, give or take depending on elevation, fell on the Greater New Milford area from mid-day Monday to Tuesday night.
All seven towns in the Greater New Milford area reported Monday they had been ready to deal with a storm predicted to dump considerable snow -- possibly more than two feet -- from Monday through Tuesday.
As the storm wound down Tuesday, town officials reflected on how it had proved good fortune that expectations hadn't borne out locally.
Schools were back in session Wednesday, albeit with delayed opening for most schools.
At mid-day on Tuesday, the Public Works Department was asking residents to stay off the town roads as cleanup operations were still under way.
By 4 p.m., that request had been withdrawn as state and town crews had already cleard most roads.
The outlook had not seemed so bright early on Tuesday, however.
Right now, I can barely see across my wood lot," Mayor Pat Murphy said Tuesday in late morning from her home. "But nothing extraordinary is happening around the town. Our dispatchers don't seem overwhelmed."
The mayor said she thought the precautions locally had been worthwhile.
"I think they couldn't tell exactly what the impact was going to be on us with two different fronts coming our way," Murphy said Tuesday. "It was prudent to be safe."
Public Works director Mike Zarba declared a "snow emergency" Monday evening and still advised motorists to stay at home Tuesday afternoon as his crews cleared the roads.
"We're telling people to stay off the roads so as not to obstruct our plow drivers," Zarba had said. "Snow emergency routes are posted throughout the town."
First Selectman Curtis Read said Monday the town's highway crew was ready.
The senior center at 132 Hut Hill Road had been stocked and was ready to be opened as an emergency shelter if needed. The phone number is 860-355-3090.
"We're about as good as we can be," Read said. "We're a town of independent New Englanders who are ready on their own. For those who need help, we'll be there."
Read said reverse 911 calls and emails would go out to all residents when updates were available.
As it turned out, none was needed.
Rick Osborne, the town's highway supervisor, said Monday his crew was ready and more road supplies were being trucked into town.
"We used quite a bit of material over the last storm," Osborne said. "But we have more being trucked in this morning. People should stay off the roads."
"We'll have a path pushed through but if we have as much snow as they're predicting," he added, "it will take a while to get things opened up."
First Selectman Barbara Henry said Monday the highway crew was ready with its salt and trucks.
She sent out a message to residents Monday morning to stay at home during the storm.
"I've told folks to use the morning to get all the supplies they need and everything in order," Henry said. "Things are going to be down for a few days."
Henry said, if necessary Tuesday, town hall and the senior center would open as emergency warming centers.
Cope underwent an emergency appendectomy Sunday and was to be in the hospital throughout the storm.
Yet he had his iPad, iPhone and other communication equipment ready, he said.
"We're geared up," Cope said Monday. "Public Works is ready to go."
"I've been in touch with all of our emergency personnel and will stay in touch," he added. "This is going to be a challenging storm. At this point, we'll clear what we can to help CL & P and the state."
As the storm began to wind down Tuesday, leaving far less snow than predicted, the first selectman felt still that precautions had been warranted.
Early on Tuesday afternoon, Sherman had received an estimated six inches of the white stuff.
"Living in the northwest hills for 24 years," Cope said, "I'd say better to be safe than sorry."
Cope praised Dave Raines, Sherman's director of emergency services, for being on top of the blizzard potential from the beginning.
"I feel blessed because in the east of the state, I'm hearing they have 24 to 30 inches and the governor has called out the National Guard to help there," Cope said. "I think if there's anything we in the west of the state can do to help our neighbors in the east, we should."
First Selectman Craig Nelson said Monday the highway crew was ready to take on the storm.
As updates occur throughout the storm e-blast, Facebook and automated phone calls would go out to residents.
First Selectman Mark Lyon said Monday his town's highway crew was ready.
"The trucks are in order and we got deliveries of salt at the end of last week," Lyon said. "I just passed two more trucks of salt on their way."
Lyon said if extended power outages were to occur, Bryan Memorial Town Hall would open as an emergency shelter.
"We've been in touch with the (Washington) market and they'll have someone who can get supplies to town hall if needed," Lyon said.
On Tuesday in late morning, Lyon reported it was still snowing "pretty good" in Washington Depot.
"We were fortunate," Lyon said. "They didn't quite get it right. But it wasn't that far off that I'm going to complain."
Lyon said he'd met with his emergency personnel Monday afternoon and everyone had been prepared to deal with a blizzard. Fortunately, they didn't have to, he said.
"The good thing was, with all the early talk, people prepared for the storm early and stayed off the roads," Lyon said. "That made it easy for our plow crews. I'm just thankful they weren't right."