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Snow Blankets Connecticut In First Major Storm Of The Year

As forecast, Connecticut is contending with its first major storm of 2021. The weather system had dumped up to 16 inches of snow on parts of the state by late Monday.

“A lot of people were on the roads this morning, and I would tell you, head home,” said Gov. Ned Lamont in a message to state residents during an early news briefing. “Our schools are closed, most of the offices are closed, certainly our state offices are closed. While all of the roads are open now, let’s see what happens going forward. I would head home.”

All tractor-trailers were banned from I-84, while empty tractor-trailers were banned from I-91 and I-95. The one exception to the ban was trucks carrying COVID-19 vaccines, testing supplies and medication, which continue to be allowed on the highways.

However, most of the vaccinations scheduled for Monday were put off. A large number of appointments have had to be rescheduled because of the storm, with some clinics closed. Properly refrigerated vaccines can still be used within eight to 10 days, so the governor said there should not be any wasted supplies as a result of the temporary disruption.

Later Monday, Josh Geballe, the state’s chief operating officer, estimated the weather had canceled 10,000 vaccinations.

“People who had appointments canceled should hear from that provider to help them reschedule,” he said during the state’s regularly scheduled COVID-19 news conference. “We’ve asked all providers to extend their hours through the rest of this week, through the weekend. We want to get everybody who had an appointment canceled today caught up before the end of the week.”

The storm also prompted the closure of some COVID-19 testing sites. Some locations were shut down for the whole day, others were closing early.  

Some school districts remained open for learning via remote classes, while other districts decided to call a full snow day and suspend teaching for the day. In Easton-Redding-Region 9, Superintendent Rydell Harrison sent his closure notice with a song.

Glastonbury Public Schools also had a snow day. Meghan Herbst took her children, Ryan, 7, and Emily, 5, to a hill next to the Hopewell School in South Glastonbury so the kids could play outside. While that sounds nice, Mom had to do a lot of legwork to make it happen.

“I got up before 2 a.m. to get my work done so I can spend the day with them today,” Herbst said.

Herbst works in medicine. Because of the pandemic, she can now work remotely on a day when her kids won’t be at school due to the snow. So after the kids finished their piano lessons -- and demonstrated good behavior – they got to have fun in the snow.

“I like to play outside and go snowboarding,” Ryan Herbst said.

Credit Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public
Ryan Herbst, 7, and sister Emily, 5, take advantage of a snow day at the Hopewell School in South Glastonbury.

Families learned about Monday’s snow day the night before via text message.

The school district alternates between e-learning and true snow days in the event of winter weather that impacts travel to the schoolhouse for multiple days. Since Monday represented an off day, Tuesday is supposed to be a remote learning day.

There was concern about possible electrical outages in southeastern Connecticut. Because of slightly warmer weather, the snow may be wetter and heavier along the shore in that corner of the state. But, as of 5 p.m. Monday, Eversource was reporting just over 1,000 outages.

Credit Joe Amon / Connecticut Public
Collard greens get a real taste of cold and snow at the Gifts of Love Farm and Education center in Simsbury on February 1.

Credit Joe Amon / Connecticut Public
Krissi Sullivan checks the hips of her German shepherd Boo after a hard roll in the snow in Simsbury.
Credit Joe Amon / Connecticut Public
A barn on Floydville Road takes the wind and snow as a storm blankets the area in Granby.
Credit Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public
A man takes cover under an umbrella as snow comes down in the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven.
Credit Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public
Alex Cambreren helps Antoinette Prece off the bus before getting on at a bus stop in the Fair Haven neighborhood of New Haven as snow comes down during the state’s first major snowstorm of the year.
Credit Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public
As snow hits New Haven, a man walks by an abandoned building in the Fair Haven neighborhood.

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