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Westport Public Schools Closed on Monday [Updated]

Refer to this continuously updated post as blizzard cleanup begins.

 

Updated, Feb. 10, 12:13 p.m.

Westport Public Schools will be closed on Monday, Feb. 11.

Updated, Feb. 10 12:13 p.m.

For the latest on Metro-North, the status of USPS mail delivery and more, click here: http://patch.com/A-1Kfn

Updated, Feb 10, 8:42 a.m.

Westport Library will be open on Sunday from 1-5 p.m., but The Kerry Boys concert has been canceled.

Updated, 3:23 p.m.

Gov. Malloy will lift the statewide travel ban on Saturday at 4 p.m.: http://patch.com/A-1Kfn

Updated, 3:14 p.m.

Assistant Fire Chief Robert Yost gave Patch an update Saturday afternoon of how clean-up efforts are going around Westport.

"We're tipping away at it," he said. "But the roads are still pretty bad. A lot of people are asking when they can go out, but we strongly discourage it. And the governor has not lifted the travel ban yet."

Yost the said the most side streets off of Post Road have not yet been plowed and that, in emergency situations, the Emergency Management team is using an all-wheel drive army truck to plow streets so that EMS trucks can get through. There have also been numerous calls from residents reporting possible carbon monoxide contamination in their homes because of furnaces blocked by snow.

As far as a timetable for when most roads will be passable, Yost said that it's hard to tell, but the team will have a meeting Saturday evening with the Department of Public Works to determine the town's progress.

Updated, 12 p.m.

Gov. Malloy said during a press conference Saturday that snow cleanup could take "a number of days": http://patch.com/A-1Kfn

Updated, 10:57 a.m.

Five Westport customers are currently without power as of 10:47 a.m., according to CL&P's outage map.

Updated, Feb. 9, 6:39 a.m.

  • Saturday: Snow likely with areas of blowing snow before 10am, then a chance of snow showers between 10am and 1pm. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 31. Blustery, with a north wind 20 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
  • Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 10. North wind 6 to 16 mph.
  • Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 35. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph.
  • Sunday Night: A chance of rain and snow after 1am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 25. Light and variable wind becoming south around 5 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Do you have any great snow pics to share with us? If so, click on the "Upload Photos and Videos" button above!

Updated, 5:42 p.m.

CL&P is reporting that 19 Westport customers are currently without power as of 5:16 p.m. To see how other towns in lower Fairfield County are faring, click here: http://patch.com/A-1Kfn

Updated 2:32 p.m.

Norwalk Transit service will be shutting down at 5 p.m. on Friday. Click on the following link for more details: http://patch.com/A-1Kfn

Updated 1:14 p.m.

Bob Kepchar, deputy chief of Westport's Emergency Management team, told Patch Friday afternoon that the team is carefully monitoring the forecast as the blizzard approaches the area and making necessary preparations.

"We are cognizant of possible three to five-foot surges and the one to three-foot inundation of water," he said. "We know that there's a possibility of flooding [on the coast]. Our night team has been called and will be doing double shifts. Depending on what happens, we'll make a deicison whether to keep today's shift on tomorrow, and therefore, doubling our force." 

Kepchar added that there are no shelters in Westport open at this time, but the town is following the state's reccomendations in case there are power outages overnight.

So far only one accident has been reported, Kepchar said, which occurred on the Merritt Parkway. A driver slid off the road and hit a tree, he said, but there were no serious injuries.

"There's probably a half-an-inch of snow on the roads right now, so it's slippery," he said. "The state is telling everyone to stay in their homes."

Updated 12:38 p.m.

Want to track how the amount of snow that falls over Westport? Then check out our live map: http://patch.com/A-1LjD

Updated 12 p.m.

First Selectman Gordon Joseloff has partially activated the town's Emergency Operations Center and Westport Town Hall will close at noon, according to the town Web site.

Updated, 11:19 a.m.

Gov. Malloy announced that he will declare a state of emergency to prepare for the blizzard and that closures of limited access highways across the state could occur as soon as noon Friday: http://patch.com/A-1Kfn

Updated, 10:25 a.m.

To find out or report what businesses will be open or closed on Friday and throughout the weekend, click on the following link: http://patch.com/A-1KS3

Updated, 9:38 a.m.

Westport Public Schools will close early today.

Updated, 9:16 a.m.

If you'd like to share snowy pics from your neighborhood, click on the "Upload Photos and Videos" button to the right or by going to Westport Patch's Pics and Clips gallery!

Updated, Feb. 8, 7:03 a.m.

The following is the latest forecast from the National Weather Service:

  • Friday: Snow. High near 36. Breezy, with a northeast wind 13 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 43 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
  • Friday Night: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 23. Windy, with a north wind 23 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 49 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.
  • Saturday: Snow likely, mainly before noon. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 29. Windy, with a north wind 21 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
  • Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 10. Wind chill values as low as -3. Blustery, with a northwest wind 11 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.
  • Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 35. Northwest wind 6 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Updated, Feb. 8, 6:25 a.m.

As of 6 a.m., all Westport Public Schools are set to open on Friday, according to its foul weather information hotline.

Updated, Feb. 8, 6:23 a.m.

Click on the following link for blizzard survival tips from United Way of Connecticut's 211: http://patch.com/A-1KF4

Updated, 10:47 p.m.

For updated information travel, outages and accidents that affect wide swaths of Fairfield County in the storm's wake, click on this link: http://patch.com/A-1Kfn

Updated, 10:38 p.m.

The National Weather Service has placed Westport—and the rest of the state— under a Blizzard Warning from 6 a.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Here's a breakdown of what the warning means:

  • Hazard types: heavy snow and strong winds
  • Accumulations: Snow accumulations of 18 to 24 inches
  • Winds: Northeast 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 45 mph
  • Temperatures: Falling into the low 20s Friday night
  • Visibilites: A quarter of a mile or less at times.
  • Timing: The strongest winds and heaviest snow will occur Friday evening into Saturday morning. 
  • Impacts: Heavy snow and winds will make for dangerous driving conditions with visibilities near zero in white-out condictions. In addition, some tree limbs will be downed, causing scattered power outages.
  • Precautionary/preparedness: a blizzard warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely, leading to whiteout conditions that will make travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If oyu must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.

A Coastal Flood Warning is also in effect along the Long Island Sound from 6 p.m until midnight Friday night.

Original Story

Have you seen the flocks of chubby red-breasted robins flitting around Westport?

Hopefully they brought snow shovels and a bit of patience for Mother Nature.

After a few dustings of powdery snow, it appears the first real snowstorm of the season may finally be upon lower Fairfield County. And residents probably should take a cue from Connecticut Light & Power which has issued a winter storm warning to local municipalities.

With sleet and heavy snow whipped by winds of 50 mph or more expected to begin Friday, Feb. 8, near blizzard-like conditions are predicted for coastal Connecticut.

Emergency management crews in Westport have already begun to check their equipment in preparation for the storm, according to Westport Emergency Management Chief Andrew Kingsbury.

Kingsbury is scheduled to be on a National Weather Service conference call with other emergency management chiefs at 2 p.m. 

“We will make decisions after the call, when we get the latest weather modeling.

Kingsbury said he intends to put additional staff on duty during the storm.

“The question is always how many, and when,” he said.

The National Weather Service provides accurate forecasts as they are located across Long Island Sound, according to Kingsbury.

 

CL&P's operational status is currently in WARNING mode, according to officials. CL&P is prepared to respond to a winter storm that may bring between 18-24 inches of heavy, wet snow to Connecticut, beginning Friday between 2 and 4 a.m. The heaviest period of snowfall is expected after midnight Friday into Saturday morning.

  • High winds will accompany the snow, with gusts up to 50 mph. Wind gusts in coastal and eastern areas of the state may reach 60 mph.
  • This is likely to be a regional event, having the greatest impact in coastal areas of all Northeastern states."

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Here is the winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service issued early Thursday morning with a winter storm watch in effect from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.

  • Hazard types...heavy snow and sleet.
  • Accumulations...snow accumulation of 10 to 20 inches.
  • Winds...north 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.
  • Temperatures...in the lower 30s.
  • Visibilities...one quarter mile or less at times.
  • Impacts...heavy snow will make for dangerous driving conditions. In addition, the heavy snow and strong winds could result in near blizzard conditions...bring down some tree limbs and cause scattered power outages.
  • Precautionary/preparedness actions... A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.

Here's the NWS forecast:

  • Thursday Night: Cloudy. Snow likely...mainly after midnight. Snow accumulation around an inch possible. Lows in the mid 20s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent. 
  • Friday: Snow in the morning...then rain and snow in the afternoon. Precipitation may be heavy at times. Additional light snow accumulation. Breezy with highs in the mid 30s. East winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.
  • Friday Night: Snow...freezing rain and sleet in the evening...then snow after midnight. Precipitation may be heavy at times. Additional heavy snow accumulation. Windy with lows in the mid 20s. North winds 20 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph...increasing to 60 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.
  • Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow in the morning... Then mostly sunny in the afternoon. Windy with highs in the lower 30s. Chance of snow 50 percent.
  • Saturday Night: Mostly clear and blustery. Lows 10 to 15.
  • Sunday: Sunny. Highs in the upper 30s.
  • Sunday Night: Mostly clear in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 20s.
  • Monday: Cloudy. A chance of snow and rain in the morning...then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent. 
  • Monday Night: Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain in the evening... Then a chance of rain and snow after midnight. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

(For the latest forecast, be sure to check Channel 7 meteorologist Bill Evans' weather blog here on Westport Patch.)

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