UPDATED: Sunday, 8:25 p.m.
The Southington Police Department released the following Sunday evening regarding snow removal efforts:
The Southington Highway Department is still plowing the roadways at this time. The goal is to plow at least one lane on each street to assist with emergency situations.
Once this goal is reached, the Highway Department can then focus on opening each street for two way traffic.
Below is a list of streets that have not been plowed as of this time but should be open with one lane shortly. Residents are asked to call the Southington Police Department at 860-621-0101 to report only the roads that have not been plowed with an emergency (one) lane. The police will contact the Town Highway garage with the information.
- Chapel Hill
- Orchard Lane
- Turnberry Court
- Wyndcrest Court
- Craig Avenue
- Washington Drive
- Brandywine Street
- Budding Ridge
- Devonshire Drive
- Valley Forge
Thank you for your patience. The crews are working as fast as possible.
UPDATED: Sunday, 2:37 p.m.
Southington schools did not wait until the 5:30 p.m. phone conference to make a decision regarding schools.
The district will be closed Monday as the town continues to address snow removal needs throughout the community, School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr. said on the district's webpage, and while progress is being made, several plow drivers said Sunday afternoon that it is becoming more difficult due to increasing volumes of traffic.
"It seems people who have been able to get out have gone out now," said one plow driver, who wished not to be named. "It's making it difficult for us to maneuver on the roads and is slowing us down."
Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said although many roads are now passable, there's still a lot of work to do and the more people can limit their driving, the better the chances that the town can address the snow removal needs in a timely manner.
It's been a frustrating 48 hours for plow crews in Southington as challenges such as mechanical failures and emergency calls have hampered efforts to clear roads, but town officials are still hopeful that Sunday will allow workers a chance to make great progress in digging free from the snow.
Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said plows are back on the road and began working again at 9 a.m. after getting a break overnight, but there is still a considerable amount of work to be done.
Brumback released the following update on Sunday morning:
One of our biggest challenges at this point, along with the enormous amount of snow we need to remove, is providing up-to-date information to residents. While we have tried to keep information flowing, this is a very dynamic environment demanding adjustments as circumstances change.
During storm preparation last week, we had planned for significant accumulation, though none of the forecasts called for 30” of snow with 4-5’ drifts in Southington. At 4 a.m. Friday, we called in all of our crews with plans to work them for 36 hours straight, followed by a planned break for rest and maintenance, before sending them back on the road for what we expected to be another 24-plus straight hours.
As the storm progressed and circumstances changed, the snow fall was greater than anyone predicted and the rate exceeded our ability to keep up…therefore, we realized that a break would put us too far behind so the crews continued to plow, only stopping for 90 minutes during whiteout conditions overnight Friday. At our peak, we had 43 trucks of various sizes on the road, including Town equipment, all our contractors and several extras that we were able to employ. As of now, crews have cleared 90 percent of our 200 miles of roads, with 10 percent of subdivision roads remaining impassible.
Last night, our goal was to clear a pathway on every street in town. Due to mechanical breakdowns and contractors having to depart, we were unable to do so by just before midnight, when the remaining people and equipment had to break for safety and welfare reasons. We gave our people and contractors a nine-hour break, and they have resumed work as of 9 a.m. this morning, and will continue until roads are normalized.
During the course of plowing, our public safety departments also responded to over 200 calls for service, including a half a dozen disputes, domestic violence incidents, threats, harassment and vandalism complaints. We answered 24 medical calls, almost all of which required diverting a plow from its assigned route to escort public safety vehicles. We also responded to 22 disabled motor vehicles, 13 carbon monoxide alarms (requiring fire department deployment and plow escort) and dozens of vehicle breakdowns, parking violations, minor collisions and public hazards.
Our hope is that our citizens can keep this storm in perspective. We are working very hard to clear access for our residents out of their homes, and if people are watching the news, they realize that towns throughout the state are in the same or worse shape as Southington. It is our goal to clear access routes on all roads by early afternoon, with crews transitioning to widening main roads by the end of today. But we recognize that it will take several days to completely clear our streets.
We have weather concerns about Monday including rain, freezing rain and sleet, potentially making the existing snow significantly heavier. There also is more snow forecast on Wednesday. The final challenge that must be considered is that this snow was so large that we are unable in many areas to simply push it to the side of the road, particularly downtown, which will require hauling snow away in order to completely clear the area. This is our most difficult challenge and will take us the longest to complete.
We have suspended the requirement to clear sidewalks until further notice.
I have been in contact with school Superintendent Joe Erardi, who is discussing school openings with his counterparts this evening and plans to provide information to the public when he is able.