UPDATED: Saturday, 3:32 p.m.
Crews are making progress on the roads and are hoping to have most people free from the snow's grip on road's before the end of the day. The goal is to clean a path through every town road before shutting down for the night.
In all, Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback said 40 separate crews are working to make it happen:
The highway crew has 40 vehicles throughout Town clearing our roads. The mains are all clear and they are working on the smaller roads and beginning the subdivisions. This is a long and difficult process that sometimes can take an hour of back and forth plow work to clear a single block.
The highway staff is trying to clear a path on all town roads before they shut down for the night.
I will update you around 7:00p with a status.
A no travel ban remains in effect statewide, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced this afternoon that the ban will be lifted at 4 p.m. Residents are, however, cautioned to use the roads in a limited way as many stores remain closed and work is still being done.
"While we are lifting the ban on travel this afternoon at 4 p.m., I still want to urge residents to stay off the roads if at all possible," said Malloy said. "Crews are out clearing roadways as we speak, but the fact is we are going to feel the impact of this storm for some time. The longer we can keep traffic out of town centers and off of our highways, the more effective our recovery effort will be."
UPDATE: Saturday, 1:38 p.m.
From Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback:
This is the final update from the state but we will keep you posted until all roads are passable.
We continue to have plows working hard and they are starting to make significant headway. Please keep in mind that we do not (nor should we) staff for historic events. This was a historic event. Our crews will do all they can to make all roads passable before they depart for the evening.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Southington is buried under 26.9 inches of snow, the official totals provided by the National Weather Service, and some people are stuck in areas that had drifts ranging from four to five feet.
The message from Southington Town Manager Garry Brumback on Saturday morning was clear and direct - be patient, because it's going to take time and effort to dig out of the record-setting snow dumped throughout the community. Residents should be aware and make sure to shovel out their heating vents first, however.
"The largest number of calls we've received, and the biggest safety hazard, is related to homes affected by carbon monoxide hazards," Brumback said. "We are asking all residents to please address their heating vents first to prevent issues."
Staff with the Southington Public Works Department have been working non-stop since 4 a.m. Friday to prepare roads and keep main arteries clear of snow for emergency purposes. Some staff is currently assigned to assist the Southington Police Department and Southington Fire Department with emergency calls.
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Brumback said that despite conditions, workers were on the roads for all but 1.5 hours since before the storm and will continue to work through 4 p.m. Saturday to clear as many roads as possible. Main roads will remain the priority and residents living in more secluded locations will have to exercise patience.
"We are fighting hard just to keep emergency vehicles with their access and main roads open," he said. "This will continue until 4 p.m. today and then we will have no choice but to pause for 12 hours to get these guys rested. We expect to finish the last of the roads by Sunday evening."
"The reality is there are going to be places that don’t have snow plow access until Sunday. We are working as quickly as possible to help get people out, but we need residents to exercise patience during this tough cleanup."
Areas not addressed by Saturday evening will be a priority on Sunday, Brumback said, and all residents will have access to roads and to be able to have plows assist with their own cleanup by Sunday afternoon. The last of the roads should be addressed on Sunday evening.
School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr. and School Operations Director Fred Cox have been made aware of the situation, but no decision has been made regarding whether schools will open on Monday at this point.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Saturday morning extended a no travel ban until further notice while the state attempts to dig free of the mess. Many main roads are cleared, his staff indicated in a press release, but there are still others that will remain covered including certain highway lanes as workers try to address the massive accumulation.
Southington police said Saturday morning that there have been dozens of calls about disabled vehicles getting stuck in the snow and are urging residents to comply with the no travel ban to prevent further issues.
Spin-outs, minor accidents and medical calls have also kept police very busy, Brumback said, but fortunately there have not been any reports of injuries related to the storms.
There is a bit of good news, however. As of 10 a.m. Saturday, no residents in the community were ever left without power, according to Connecticut Light & Power officials.
"We're happy to say, that has not been an issue here. As long as residents are able to clear their heating vents, most everyone should be able to safely remain in their homes," Brumback said.
The town has suspended the requirement to clear sidewalks for the time being as snow plows continue to work diligently to clear snow from roads. Brumback said he is not asking residents to have their sidewalks clear only to have them have to do it several times before Sunday night...
Snow removal can be extremely difficult, especially for those without snowblowers. Take a look at our tips to avoid problems and injuries as you dig out...
Have an emergency? Call 911 to get help. That's what the Southington Police Department is there for. For all non-emergency calls, contact the department at (860) 621-0101.
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