Updated: Saturday, 8:17 p.m.
Slushy snow is mounting quickly in Southington it's left thousands without power in the community - 6,702 to be exact. Officials have opened a shelter and are sending a message to residents that if you don't need to move, it's time to stay indoors.
"There's a lot going on. Every road could be closed, put it that way," said one dispatcher at the . In all, there are "over two dozen" areas where downed trees or wires have caused partial or full road closures.
Sgt. Lowell DePalma said in a press release on Facebook (which you can access by clicking the link) that the town has responded to 11 accidents, 40 wires down, one disabled vehicle, 20 downed trees, four public hazards and three buildings damaged by trees.
Six roads are currently closed: Beechwood Drive, Andrews Street, Rourke Avenue, Sun Valley Dr near Cianci, Lowery Drive and Ciccio Drive.
The town has opened a shelter at the Calendar House for any residents needing assistance because they've lost power. According to Connecticut Light & Power, 34 percent of the town is now without electricity.
Anyone who needs assistance can contact at (860) 621-3014.
Statewide, CL&P is now reporting over 512,000 statewide are without power, representing 41 percent of their customer base, according to the CL&P outage maps.
"It will remain open as long as needed," Town Manager Garry Brumback said.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has in Connecticut as conditions worsen. Six inches or more is expected by the time the storm leaves the area during the early morning hours on Sunday, according to reports from the National Weather Service.
Mitch Gross, spokesman for CL&P, said the company has opened an emergency operations center. More than 200 crew lines are on the road, but it is unknown when power would be restored.
"An estimate as to when power will be restored will be available once the assessment is complete. We appreciate our customers patience," he said.
In the meantime, CL&P is reminding customers to:
- Stay away from all downed wires. Assume any downed, hanging or burning power lines are live and dangerous and call 9-1-1 immediately. If a power line falls on your vehicle while you’re inside, stay there. Don’t touch anything outside the vehicle and wait for emergency crews.
- Report your power outage by calling CL&P at 800-286-2000. Our automated phone system rapidly processes your report and helps us speed restoration efforts. It also provides restoration estimates as soon as they’re available.
- Before operating a generator, make sure it has been properly installed by a licensed electrician. Improperly installed generators can feed electricity back into power lines and pose a deadly situation for our line workers. Always operate generators outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide hazards.
- If you lose power, turn off your circuit breakers. This will help reduce the possibility of damage to sensitive electronic equipment once power is restored.
State police have said the snow is causing problems on roads, with Interstate 84 West closed for over an hour just before exit 28 because of a downed tree Saturday and other state roads outside town closed entirely. The highway has reopened, state Department of Transportation officials said, but traffic remains slow going.
A parking ban has also been put into effect until Sunday when roads have been cleared, Southington police said.
The snow has also led to a cancellation of multiple events throughout the community that had been scheduled for Saturday.
“The Halloween festival is officially canceled, unfortunately,” said Michael Ricco, Committee member. “This wasn’t something we had expected, that’s for sure.”
In addition to the event being cancelled, organizers were also forced to put an end to plans for the annual competition at and the graveyard tours hosted by the Barnes Museum at .
Malloy also signed an order, effective immediately, banning non-emergency vehicles on the Wilbur Cross and Merritt Parkways due to dangerous driving conditions
“The storm is causing treacherous driving conditions down along the Merritt Parkway particularly, as well as on roadways across the state,” Malloy said. “I am urging residents to stay off the roads and let Department of Transportation crews get out there and get the streets clear."
"On the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways no one should be on the roads except emergency crews. People should stay inside at this point, we are seeing heavy snow start to impact power as well as driving,” he said.
How are you handling “Snowtober” 2011? Post your pictures and tell us what you think of the early winter weather.