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Mayor Drew: City Hit Hard, Urges Residents to Stay Home

Middetown Mayor Dan Drew, who declared a state of emergency early Saturday, said snow accumulation from the blizzard was so rapid and significant that clearing main thoroughfares will take the better part of the weekend.

 

Update 7:43 p.m.: Mayor Dan Drew reminds residents that the city of Middletown parking ban is still in effect.

Calling this the worst storm he's ever seen, Mayor Dan Drew is urging Middletown residents to stay indoors Saturday to allow city workers to clear snow, which in some spots reached 36 inches, from the roads.

"The storm was so hard and so fast and the accumulation was so rapid, so significant, that it was extremely difficult to contend with but in every single instance, everything worked out," Drew said.

He's asking for residents to be patient.

"Things have calmed down significantly and we're looking at a long, slow cleanup," Drew said. "We understand that people are curious, but it's extremely dangerous out there."

Drew said Middletown Fire Chief Gary Ouellette, who's worked for the department since 1978, has never seen this much snow in the city.

"Overnight was very difficult to deal with," Drew said, as he praised city workers. "These people were out all night. When we had medical calls, we were pairing up public works trucks with emergency response vehicles so they could get through."

Two industrial-size snow blowers have been affixed to the front of heavy public works equipment to clear main roads. "Just to make it so the plows can pass."

Secondary roads will follow, Drew said, but it's quite possible tertiary roads and dead ends will not be plowed until Sunday.

Drew was out Friday at 11:15 p.m. with the director of public works in a 4-by-4, he said, in "virtual whiteout conditions." They saw cars, fire trucks and plow trucks  getting stuck in the snow.

Original version

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Gov. Malloy's press conference. He told residents more power outages are expected "as gusts begin to blow."

 Mayor Daniel Drew has declared a state of emergency in the City of Middletown as of 6 a.m. Saturday.

The city experienced rapid, major accumulations of snow overnight and crews from Public Works, Water & Sewer, and Parks & Recreation are working to clear roadways.

Accumulation was so rapid and significant that clearing main thoroughfares will take the better part of Saturday and will necessitate the use of heavy equipment. Residents on side streets and rural roads are asked for their patience as crews work to clear roads.

“This is a historic storm,” Mayor Drew said.  “We’re working around the clock to clear our streets and our emergency operations center is monitoring conditions and coordinating our response.”

Police, fire, and ambulance crews are responding to medical emergencies and 911 calls as they are able by coordinating efforts with Public Works.

“This storm has presented some major challenges, but we have everything under control and we’ll be back to normal as soon as possible,” Mayor Drew said.

In accordance with Governor Malloy’s executive order, the City of Middletown reminds residents to stay off the roads. They are highlyimpassible and multiple vehicles were stuck and abandoned by the side of the roadways overnight.

Residents are reminded to be careful when shoveling walkways and driveways. Where able, please assist elderly or disabled neighbors. Many people experience injuries while cleaning snow, and it’s important to do so slowly so as to avoid dangerous injuries.

Residents are also reminded to be mindful of blockages of exterior vents and accumulation of carbon monoxide in their homes.

As of 8 a.m., Saturday approximately half of one percent of CL&P customers in the City are without power. As of Saturday morning, the City Of Middletown does not plan to open the emergency shelter at Middletown High School.

The Warming Center at South Congregational Church and the lobby of the Middletown Police Department are open to anyone who needs refuge.

A parking ban is in effect until further notice vehicles parked on the streets will be towed.


Kathy Way February 09, 2013 at 10:48 PM
The picture of the three young men with the shovels look like the ones who shoveled my car out at the South Green apartments parking lot...what a blessing...worth every bit of the $20...
David Bauer February 09, 2013 at 11:54 PM
I do agree that we need to exercise patience. If this were Rochester, NY instead of Middletown, CT I would expect a quicker reaction. The people, and the equipment, in the city's departments are not the ideal to dispatch with 30 inches of snow this quickly. Most of the city plow blades are overwhelmed by this much snow, and the operators run out of places to pile the snow anyway, especially with so many 'unknown objects' buried in the drifts. I just hope that there is the proper coordination to reach our neighbors who may truly be in need during this extraordinary weather.

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