Newtown’s roads are slippery today.
Fred Hurley has had crews out working since 4 am, but 10 hours into the storm, the public works director says the roads are “slick.” Snow began falling around 5 am Monday, and has continued steadily since.
The National Weather Service (NYC) had issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the entire southern portion of Connecticut, to be in effect from 5 am until 7 pm. A graphic posted at 3 pm Sunday, February 2, predicted 2 to 4 inches of snow to fall across Fairfield County by 7 pm Monday, February 3.
By 9:47 am, NWS had upped its predictions to a “moderate to heavy snowfall event today. “ Accumulations had been increased to between 3 and 6 inches of snow in northern Fairfield County.
“At this point in the storm, unless you’re on a road that’s been plowed off, or has heavy traffic, they’ve very slick,” Mr Hurley said shortly after 3 pm. “This snow is very slick.”
A number of motor vehicle accidents have been reported today, he said.
“There have been a lot of accidents today where people have just slid off the roads,” said Mr Hurley. “That’s state roads as well as town roads.”
Such accidents have taken place on South Main Street near Swamp Road, along Currituck Road, and Mt Pleasant at Hawleyville Road.
“Get home, and be safe,” urged Mr Hurley. “Four-wheel drive will get you started, but it won’t stop you if you hit a slick spot.”
Public Works employees reported for work at 4 am.
“We anticipated that the snows would be starting shortly after 5, which they did, and we were trying to get a jump on the rush hour,” said Mr Hurley. The hour before the snow started, he said, “gave them time to get their trucks ready, with sand and salt.
“When the snow started, we were already out there sanding hills, bridges and intersections,” said Mr Hurley.
Plenty of vehicles were still seen on the roads by mid-afternoon, but it was a much lighter traffic load than a Monday would usually bring.
Even with recent reminders from town officials, there are still those who are out today pushing snow into the roadways and others who had left vehicles parked on the side of roads. The former is illegal, and creates a safety hazard for other vehicles if the piles of snow left across a roadway freeze; the latter violates a town ordinance that prohibits the parking of vehicles on town roads between sunset and sunrise from November 15 through March 15. The parking ban is intended to allow town Public Works staffers to clear those roads of snow and ice in a timely manner
With school cancelled for the day, some of the town’s younger residents were outdoors enjoying the weather. Sean and Isabelle Caron were among them, sledding and snowboarding in their front yard while their father worked to clear the family’s driveway Monday afternoon.
Sean was also taking a few opportunities to taste test the fresh snow, smiling each time he put a handful into his mouth.
Elsewhere, parents took advantage of having some additional help around the house. A few children and young adults were spotted with shovels in hand, clearing driveways and walkways at their home on Monday.