A nor'easter delivers snow, rain, strong winds: Northwestern Connecticut hit hardest
A winter storm is bringing rain and snow to Connecticut through Wednesday morning. Totals have varied widely depending on location with the northwestern part of the state getting hit the hardest.
Heavy, wet snow fell in the northern parts of the state, with some areas getting 8 to 12 inches, the National Weather Service said. The nor'easter has brought strong winds and the potential for minor coastal flooding, and officials warned residents to be prepared for potential power outages.
A winter storm warning is in effect for northwestern and northeastern parts of the state until 8 a.m. Wednesday, the weather service said. That includes Litchfield, Tolland and Windham counties.
A winter storm warning was in effect for Hartford County through Wednesday morning. Two to 4 inches of snow are possible in Hartford County.
Heavy, wet snow on tree branches will likely result in power outages in the northern parts of the state, the weather service said. Gusty winds could also bring down tree branches.
According to the weather service, snowfall amounts as of Tuesday afternoon ranged from 8 to 15 inches in Granby, 12 inches in Burlington and 10 inches in Simsbury. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks reported 4 inches.
Since temperatures will be near and above freezing, there will be a large range in snow totals, said Garett Argianas, Connecticut Public’s meteorologist.
“Snow totals will be elevation-dependent, with the greatest amounts in the higher elevations,” Argianas said.
State government offices and courts were closed Tuesday.
Northwestern CT gets hit hard
The northwest corner of Connecticut has received the worst of the nor’easter so far. That's where the majority of Eversource's 12,000 power outages were being reported by mid Tuesday afternoon.
About 98% of the roughly 2,000 customers in Goshen were without power at around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday Eversource reported.
Colebrook, on the Connecticut-Massachusetts border in the upper eastern corner of Litchfield County, got around 10 inches of snow by 6 a.m. Tuesday in the center of town and snow was still expected to fall for several more hours, according to its first selectman, Chris Johnstone.
It's a heavy snow, he said.
"The road foreman told me in some places the tree branches are weighted down with so much snow that they are hitting the plow trucks, they're blocking the roads, and they have to drive around them," he said.
Johnstone says a tree took out one transformer by 6 a.m.
Nearly 40% of Eversource's customers in Colebrook were without power Tuesday morning. And Johnstone expected that number to grow.
"The wind is what concerns me the most because of all the dead ash trees and dead pine trees,” he said. “On a good day they drop branches, so you put a little bit of snow on them and some wind, I don't think we've seen the worst of this yet.”
Southern CT: some snow, but more rain
Southern parts of the state are more likely to see less snow but plenty of rain.
A winter weather advisory is in effect for northern Fairfield County until 6 a.m. Wednesday. Meanwhile, a separate winter weather advisory will be in effect for the northern parts of New Haven, New London and Middlesex counties until 6 a.m. Wednesday. Those areas could see anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of snow.
And a coastal flood advisory will be in effect for southern Fairfield and New Haven counties starting at 2 a.m. Tuesday.
DOT sending crews across CT
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is monitoring the forecast and anticipates sending all drivers out across the state, with a supplement of nearly 200 contractors.
Spokesperson Josh Morgan asks people to stay home if possible.
“Please delay travel if you can,” he said. “If you have to go out, please slow down. Give yourself that extra travel time and don’t crowd our plows.”
If you have to be on the roads, Morgan recommends cleaning the exterior of your entire vehicle – not just the windshield – to avoid causing accidents and to leave plenty of space between your vehicle and other vehicles.
Preparing for power outages
Energy provider Eversource said it's monitoring the weather and staging extra staff and equipment across the state. The company expects potential power outages over a lengthy period of time — and as repairs are made, additional outages may occur.
"We’re gearing up for the powerful nor’easter expected to bring heavy, wet snow and strong winds,” Eversource said on Twitter.
Those strong winds pose a safety concern for workers and may delay power restoration, officials said.
United Illuminating says it’s bringing in crews from out of state to assist with any power outages.
Eversource recommends that people stock up on non-perishable items and paper goods before the storm.
Here are other tips from Eversource:
- Turn temperature controls on refrigerators and freezers to the coldest setting to keep food cold in the event of a power outage.
- Fill large containers with water for drinking and also fill bathtubs so that there’s water to flush toilets if needed.
- Have flashlights, batteries, candles and matches available as well as a battery-powered radio.
This story has been updated.