UPDATE: Greenwich To Lift Snow Emergency Wednesday Night

This is your hub for all winter storm-related information, including rail delays, and closings, cancellations and postponements of Greenwich events and programs.

A pedestrian waits to cross Hamilton Avenue at St. Roch Place on Jan. 21, 2014. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.
A pedestrian waits to cross Hamilton Avenue at St. Roch Place on Jan. 21, 2014. Photo credit: Barbara Heins.

Updated: 2:13 p.m., Jan. 22:
The Greenwich snow emergency will be lifted at 6 p.m. today, according to Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray.

The lifting of the snow emergency means that residents who normally park their vehicles on public roads will be able to do so once again. 

However, Gray said that residents should be mindful that they have 18 hours after the last snowfall to shovel their sidewalks. "If they don't police can ticket for not shoveling," Gray said.

Updated: 7:45 a.m., Jan. 22:
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles is canceling all road tests until 10 a.m. today, Wednesday.

Anyone with a scheduled road test can call DMV to choose a new date. The number to call is toll-free 800-842-8222. DMV is also attempting to contact customers with road test appointments to advise them of the schedule change.

All DMV offices are open for business today. However, customers are advised to check the DMV website at ct.gov<http://ct.gov/dmv>/<http://ct.gov/dmv>dmv for any updates throughout the day.

Drivers of commercial and passenger vehicles are reminded about the requirement to remove snow and ice from hoods, trunks and roofs or face fines ranging from $75 to $1,250.

Operators of commercial vehicles and passenger cars and trucks who drive a vehicle with accumulated snow and ice can be fined $75. However, the law calls for stiffer penalties when there’s personal or property damage from the flying elements.

In those instances the driver of a commercial vehicle faces a fine up to $1,250 and a passenger car or small truck driver can be fined up to $1,000.

Drivers are exempt from the fines when the snow, sleet and freezing rain begins or continues while the vehicle is traveling. Parked vehicles are also exempt from the required removal of ice and snow.

Updated: 5:45 a.m., Jan. 22:

Most schools in Greenwich — including Greenwich Public Schools — will be open today with the start of classes delayed by two hours.
Greenwich Academy announced, "Like the Town of Greenwich, we will delay opening for two hours today for Lower School and Middle School, and Upper School will follow the exam schedule announced yesterday."

Brunswick School announced: "Pre, Lower and Middle Schools will open today after a two-hour delay.Upper School History exams will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by English exams at 2:30 p.m."

The Whitby School also has a two-hour delay, with classes starting at 10 a.m. 
Convent of the Sacred Heart, The Stanwich School, Carmel Academy, Greenwich Country Day also have delayed classes by two hours. At Greenwich Country Day, the grade 1 parent coffee is cancelled and will be rescheduled.

And at Greenwich Catholic, "Students are asked to wear their gym uniforms to school today due to the cold weather."

Updated: 10:38 p.m., Jan. 21:
OK — Before you set the alarm clock ... you might consider that for Wednesday, Jan. 22, "Metro-North is currently planning to operate a regular weekday schedule on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines. Delays and train combinations are likely depending upon the severity of the storm and its impact on our service territory," according to their latest advisory.

"The decisions to cancel or combine trains will be based upon the condition of our track and power systems, the number of train cars available, and the location and availability of our crews.  Every effort will be made to minimize the impact on our customers," according to a railroad announcement.

Customers should listen for station announcements, be sure to continue to check this web site and listen to the media for updates.

Hourly service will remain in effect on all lines for the remainder of tonight, Tues., Jan. 21.

See full details at http://tinyurl.com/o9r8jja

Updated: 8 p.m., Jan. 21:
The National Weather Service has now issued a "special weather statement" advising that snow will continue to fall at a rate of one to two inches an hour overnight.g

Greenwich residents can attest to that. We shoveled snow about 6 p.m. Tuesday and by 7:45 p.m., there were an additional three inches covering sidewalks. While it's glorious to look at the shimmering flakes of snow which create that welcome quiet in the neighborhood, be careful...the dry, fluffy snow is slippery.

Check out our latest snow photos and feel free to share yours.

Updated: 6:07 p.m., Jan. 21:
Metro-North has announced it's making the following changes due to the projected impact of the winter storm on our region. These changes will enable the railroad to provide the best service possible while ensuring passenger safety, according to an announcement.

Tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 21, Metro-North will operate a regular PM Peak schedule on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines until 8 p.m. After 8 p.m., hourly service will be in effect with cancellations and combinations on all lines for the remainder of the night.

And the weather continues to create delays of 10 to 15 minutes.

For more details, see http://tinyurl.com/o9r8jja

Updated: 2:24 p.m., Jan. 21:

As fluffy snow piled up around Greenwich Tuesday afternoon, schools had early dismissals, there were dozens of after-school and evening events and government meetings postponed.

The Board of Selectmen approved a snow emergency declaration, effective at 6 o'clock Tuesday night. The Board of Estimate and Taxation postponed its monthly meeting from Tuesday to 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22. The Greenwich Relay for Life and Junior League Greenwich events scheduled for Tuesday night at Town Hall also have been cancelled, as is the Town's Planning and Zoning presentation for Realtors at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The Greenwich Library and its branches will be closing at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The snow emergency means residents should refrain from parking vehicles on snow emergency routes and essentially stay off the roads, especially this evening when snow fall is expected to increase. (The full snow emergency declaration is below.) And use this handy link for a list of streets where parking is banned.

The latest National Weather Service forecast is that up to four inches will have fallen during the afternoon and up to another seven inches are expected overnight. 

Local roads are slick despite the best efforts of public works crews. Deputy Greenwich Fire Chief Tom Nixon said all department trucks "are chained up and ready for whatever is thrown at us." The department has responded to several minor accidents and Nixon advised residents to avoid driving at all.

Connecticut Turnipke in Greenwich was slowed to a crawl during the early afternoon.

In the event of power outages — and none were reported in Greenwich as of 2:30 p.m. — the Greenwich Police headquarters lobby will be open as a warming center. There are a limited number of electrical outlets available for charging electronic devices. If they are open for business, the Greenwich Senior/Arts Center and Greenwich Library also will be available as warming and charging centers, according to officials.

And the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles issued this advisory Tuesday afternoon. "All Department of Motor Vehicles offices will close today at 2:45 p.m. due to the inclement weather. Please consult the DMV website at ct.gov/dmv for further updates regarding the opening times of offices tomorrow(Wednesday) following the storm."

Updated: 1:57 p.m., Jan. 21:
The MTA is urging Metro-North Railroad to leave work early today and finish traveling early tonight.
Here is their message: "The storm has arrived earlier than predicted, bringing higher snow accumulation and stronger wind gusts, raising the prospect of snow drifts of up to two feet in certain areas. Service on railroads, subways and buses service may be curtailed or suspended depending upon significant snowfall accumulation/blizzard conditions.

"If you do not need to travel tonight, we urge you not to. If you must travel, monitor Service Status athttp://alert.mta.info for the most up-to-date information."

Updated: 1:45 p.m., Jan. 21:
This just in from the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich:
"First Congregational Church of Greenwich will be closing at 2 p.m. today, Tues, Jan. 21, due to the winter storm. All afternoon and evening activities have been cancelled. The church will reopen tomorrow Wed., Jan. 22, weather-permitting."

Updated: 1:27 p.m., Jan. 21:

The Town of Greenwich has declared a snow emergency, effective at 6 p.m. today.

Here's the message from the Greenwich Police Department's Capt. Mark Kordick.

This is an important message for all Greenwich residents from the Greenwich Police Department.  As many of you know, significant snowfall is forecast for this evening through early Wednesday.  In anticipation, the Town of Greenwich Board of Selectmen has unanimously voted to declare a Snow Emergency effective at 6:00 pm todayJanuary 21st, 2014.  The Snow Emergency will remain in effect until cancelled.
During the period of the Snow Emergency no vehicles are permitted to remain parked, stopped or standing on any Snow Emergency streets.  Vehicles in violation will be subject to ticketing and immediate towing.  If you are unsure if your vehicle is parked on a Snow Emergency street, a full list can be viewed at the Town of Greenwich website - www.greenwichct.org.  Vehicles displaced from Snow Emergency streets may be lawfully parked in municipal off-street parking lots until the snow emergency is over.  Your cooperation will ensure that road crews can keep Snow Emergency streets open for emergency First Responder vehicle traffic.
The Town of Greenwich is fully prepared for the coming snow event.  Additional staffing, as appropriate, has been added to Public Works road crews and by Greenwich's emergency responder agencies.  At this time, the State of Connecticut is anticipating that this will be a "moderate to major" snow event.  Temperatures are also forecast to be well below freezing overnight and it will be windy, with gusts to 45 MPH.  Sub-zero wind chills are likely to occur overnight.  The most significant snow accumulations are predicted to begin in our area around 7:00 PM and continue until 4:00 AM tomorrow.  Travel on roadways is predicted to become quite hazardous after 8:00 PM this evening.  It is imperative that everyone exercise additional caution during the storm, limit travel to only essential trips and dress appropriately for what could be bitterly cold conditions.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.  Please stay indoors, stay warm and stay safe.
Updated: 10:35 a.m., Jan. 21:
Here's the latest from the Boys & Girls Club Greenwich: 
"ATTENTION BGCG GUESTS, MEMBERS & PARENTS: Due to today's (1/21/14) inclement weather, the Club will CLOSE after2pm. Please stay posted for future updates on our website, and on facebook.com/BGCGKids

JSF early afternoon skating is still on until 2 p.m.

'Kids in Sports' is cancelled.

Adult Lap Swim is on until 1 p.m.

This evening's Bye Bye Birdie rehearsal is canceled.

Email us should you have any questions: info@bgcg.org.

Updated: 9:32 a.m., Jan. 21:
In an announcement posted by Whitby School at 9:30 a.m.: "In the interest of safety, Whitby School will close early today, January 21, at 12:30 p.m., due to the anticipated snow fall predicted to come this afternoon. Students who take the bus will be collected by the bus companies between 1pm and 1:15pm." 

Updated: 8 a.m., Jan. 21:
This just in from Greenwich Public Schools:
"In anticipation of today's weather forecast and in consultation with the GPD and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) leadership, Dr. McKersie has announced an 
Early Release for Today, Tuesday, January 21, 2014 for all schools.
We will follow the standard Early Release Schedule. All after school and evening activities are cancelled."

Updated: 7:45 a.m., Jan. 21:

Early dismissals of schools in the region are coming in. So far, only one school in Greenwich has announced closing school early.

"Due to the forecasted snow, Convent of the Sacred Heart will close at 12 noon today, Tuesday, January 21. Greenwich busing will begin at 1 p.m.," according to a posting on the school's website.

Original story: 5:58 p.m., Jan. 20
Nearly 20 hours before the latest winter storm is expected to begin dumping up to 10 inches of snow in the Fairfield County region, the cancellation and postponement of events has begun.

Late Monday afternoon, Greenwich's state legislative delegation —State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Stephen Walko (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) and Sen. Scott Frantz (R-36) — announced postponement of its  informational forum on health care that was scheduled for 7 p.m., Jan. 21 in the Cone Room of Greenwich Town Hall. The program will be rescheduled.

If your organization's event or program is postpone or cancelled, you can post the information in our comments section below.

On Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service upgraded its winter storm watch to a winter storm warning for the tri-state region, including Fairfield County. The warning is in effect from noon Tuesday, Jan. 21 through 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Snow is expected by noon and continue through Tuesday afternoon and night. Winds will pick up with gusts of 30 mph expected to reduce vislbility to a quarter of a mile with blowing and drifting snow. Wind chills overnight Tuesday could reach 10 below zero.

A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring, according to the NWS. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency, the NWS warns. If you must travel, the NWS advises to keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Here's the forecast:
  • Tuesday: Snow, mainly after noon. High near 21. North wind 9 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
  • Tuesday Night: Snow with widespread blowing snow before midnight, then snow likely with widespread blowing snow between midnight and 3am, then widespread blowing snow and a chance of snow after 3am. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 8. Wind chill values as low as -7. Blustery, with a north wind 20 to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
  • Wednesday: A slight chance of snow before 9am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 16. Blustery, with a northwest wind 16 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 8.
  • Thursday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 24.
  • Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 7.
  • Friday: Sunny, with a high near 20.
  • Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has directed the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), the Dept. of Social Services (DSS), the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and the Department of Housing (DOH) to coordinate with 2-1-1 and the state's network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable are protected.

“Throughout the winter season, we continue to take the necessary steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter, especially our state’s most vulnerable populations,” said Governor Malloy in a release. “I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.”



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