Snow blankets Connecticut, canceling schools and slowing roads
Parts of Connecticut woke up to more than 10 inches of snow Friday, as a winter storm crossed the state bringing in more accumulation than initially expected.
State transportation officials recommended people stay home if they could. For those on the roads, they were asked for extreme caution as the plows were out doing their work. The state agency is down 450 people out of its 1,600-people highway operations. State officials say it's due to vacancies and health concerns, including COVID-19.
Individual towns across the state are also mitigating staffing shortages. New Haven officials said about 15 percent of its public works department is out due to COVID-19.
"We're trying to just open the roads at this particular time. We’re going to keep on this. These snow operations are going to go into the weekend. We’re not going to get it done today," said Rick Fontana, New Haven's Emergency Operations Director.
Parking bans were extended throughout the state, as were public school closures -- including New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport, Waterbury, and elsewhere.
The governor also closed state office buildings to the public.
The snow fall caused several accidents across major state highways. As of around noon on Friday, state police had more than 700 calls for service and 150 motorists calls. The department mostly experienced spinouts and minor vehicle accidents.
Flights were also affected at Bradley International Airport. About 12 percent of morning flights were canceled, according to Connecticut Airport Authority officials. While snow removal is ongoing, further fight cancellations are possible.
The storm moved into the Northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day.
In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker urged people to stay off the roads Friday and take public transportation if possible, as the storm was forecasted to drop as much as a foot of snow in coastal areas of the state. Schools in Boston closed, and Providence, Rhode Island, public schools switched to distance learning, but New York City kept the nation's largest public school system open.
This story includes information from The Associated Press and will be updated.