Updated, 5:05 a.m., Feb. 11:
Freezing rain early Monday is expected to change to rain as temperatures rise, causing heavy snows to melt, according to meteorologist Bill Evans of Old Greenwich.
This afternoon, temperatures should climb into the mid- and upper 40s, but there will be occasional rain, some drizzle and patches of fog, says Evans. Here is his complete forecast.
The National Weather Service says the freezing rain and sleet will make roads treacherous but conditions will improve as the morning wears on. In total, the weather service said that Greenwich had an official measurement of 22 1/2 inches of snow as of 9 a.m., Feb. 9.
According to the University of Connecticut's website, there will be no classes on Monday as the university continues with its snow removal process, including the UConn Stamford campus.
The alert from UConn states morning, afternoon and evening classes are all canceled for the day for all university locations.
Norwalk Community College will be closed on Monday, according to its Web site. All classes and activities are canceled.
Updated, 1:38, Feb. 10:
As Greenwich continues its cleanup efforts from the weekend winter storm, officials say the town weathered well.
The wind-whipped high tides of at least five feet above normal that were anticipated for Friday night and Saturday didn’t materialize as predicted.
“Things worked out quite well. The winds shifted to the north before high tide which pushed the stuff away from us,” said Dan Warzoha, Greenwich’s emergency management director. “The hurricane barrier in Stamford measured just two feet above regular high tides.”
Warzoha said, “This wound up being a big New England snow storm and we know how to do snowstorms.” He added, “The public works crews some went 30 hours straight….between parks & rec, DPW, those guys deserve a lot of kudos for doing a really good job in a really bad situation.”
The crews are spending Sunday “push back work and cleaning,” according to Warzoha.
Power outages were minimal and now Connecticut Light & Power crews are moving personnel to the eastern end of Connecticut where thousands remain without power. As of 5:45 a.m. Feb. 9, there was one of the 27,929 CL&P customers in Greenwich, who was without service.
The concern now is for overnight into Monday morning when freezing rain is expected to begin around 4 a.m. before changing over to rain by 9 a.m. “There could be some ice” before the changeover, Warzoha said.
Greenwich Emergency Medical Service Executive Director Charlee Tufts said the agency has been providing “unprecedented mutual aid to Fairfield and Bridgeport” since Friday. About 30 inches of snow fell in Fairfield and there are drifts 4- to 5-feet deep.
There is an ambulance and with its crew, and a paramedic supervisor assigned to Fairfield which usually is served by American Medical Response ambulance service. Early Sunday afternoon, the crew was called into Bridgeport to treat a patient in full cardiac arrest, according to Tufts and Warzoha. (AMR also serves Bridgeport.)
Warzoha said he understood there were eight ambulances still snowbound in Bridgeport.
“This is what mutual aid is all about,” Tufts said. “When we had the storm in March 2010, AMR sent down six ambulances to cover Greenwich and Stamford…that’s what’s all about.”
Tufts added, “We have been very conscientious that Greenwich has what it needs before responding with mutual aid.”
Tufts also said, “I’m very proud of our crews and what they’ve been able to do, making sure people (in Fairfield and Bridgeport) have the care they need.” She said, “(Fairfield and Bridgeport) fire and police also are in dire straits—people are having a hard time getting around…we’ve loaned them chains.”
Updated, 12:35 p.m., Feb. 10:
As storm cleanup continues, Greenwich will be closing its Emergency Operations Center at 4 p.m. Sunday, according to Greenwich Emergency Management Director Dan Warzoha.
Updated, 1:30 p.m., Feb. 9:
As the state of Connecticut remains under a snow emergency with a statewide travel ban, the Town of Greenwich expects to lift its snow emergency at 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 10.
In the latest announcement released just before 1 p.m. Saturday, First Selectman Peter Tesei said the town’s Emergency Operations Center remains activated for this event and all appropriate municipal departments are staffed at this time.
Officials are asking residents to shovel neighborhood fire hydrants to aid the Fire Department with any potential emergencies. According to the recorded, reverse 911 message issued at 1:13 p.m. Saturday, Greenwich Police Capt. Mark Kordick said the fire department will not shovel out fire hydrants “except in an emergency.”
A survey of town roads show that local crews have done yeoman’s work throughout the night keeping up with the snowfall that measured about 11 inches in the western side of Greenwich. Many were clear with wet pavement. State roads, including Route 1 (West and East Putnam avenues), remain covered with a dense layer of snow and slush.
Kordick also said that although Greenwich didn’t receive the predicted snowfall, “Many local roads remain dangerous” and that it will be “several more hours, at least until later tonight that roads will have any sort of normalcy.” Vehicles parked along snow emergency routes will be ticketed and towed.
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According to Kordick, the police department will “vigorously enforce” the town ordinance prohibiting the dumping and plowing of snow onto local streets and sidewalks.
At the G*Ville Deli on Glenville Street in the Glenville section of Greenwich, Joanne and Frank Giorno were doing a brisk business with plow crews dropping by for breakfast and coffee. “We actually had a catering job this morning,” said Joanne who with her husband Frank opened the deli 11 months ago.
The Stop & Shop in Glenville was open. However, a sign on the Glenville post office said it was closed because of the storm and would reopen on “the next business day”—which would be Feb. 11.
A block away, the steep hill behind the Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center attracted dozens of families eager to try out snow tubes and sleds, burning off some pent-up energy.
Parks and Recreation Facility Hours:
Saturday, Feb. 9
- Greenwich Point Park will open at 1:00 p.m.
- The Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink will open at 2:00 p.m. and close at 10:00 p.m. A public skating session will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- The Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center is open until 8:30 p.m.
- The Eastern Greenwich Civic Center is closed for the rest of the day.
- Paddle Tennis Courts are closed until further notice.
Sunday, Feb. 10
- The Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center will open at 9:00 a.m. and close 6:00 p.m.
- The Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink will open at 6:45 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m. A public skating session will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- The Eastern Greenwich Civic Center will open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m.
The Greenwich Home Show at Greenwich High School will be postponed until Feb. 16 and 17. And the Greenwich Police Department postponed today’s firearms turn-in program until Feb. 23.
To hear Kordick’s latest message from the Greenwich Emergency Notification System, please call the Greenwich Police Department’s non-emergency number at 203-622-8000 and then either dial #8 or follow the automated voice prompts to listen to the recorded community event message.
And for more photos and video of the snow in Greenwich, be sure to check our photo gallery where you can upload your great pictures.
Update, 5:45 a.m., Feb. 9:
More than a foot of snow has blanketed Greenwich as the blizzard of 2013 continues today.
And despite officials' warnings that the heavy, wet snow and wind gusts in excess of 50 mph were expected to create power outages, the town appears to have escaped relatively unscathed.
As of 5:50 a.m., there was 1 customer reported to be without power, according to Connecticut Light & Power. Most of the power outages in the state are in the southeast corner in Ledyard, Stonington and North Stonington, according to the CL&P website.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has ordered all roads in Connecticut closed until further notice. This traffic ban extends to all vehicles except for those emergency response and recovery vehicles with the capacity to maneuver in heavy snow.
"It's critical right now that residents stay off the roads, so that our plows can continue their efforts to clear our streets and highways," said Malloy. "This is a record setting storm. It's going to take time to dig out of the snow. Stalled or abandoned vehicles will only slow that process. Unless you face an emergency, please stay put."
Greenwich Police have postponed Saturday's firearms turn-in program to Feb. 23.
Here's the latest forecast for Greenwich from the National Weather Service:
- Saturday: Areas of blowing snow and a chance of snow showers before 9am, then a slight chance of snow showers between 9am and noon. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 31. Windy, with a northwest wind 22 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
- Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 10. Northwest wind 7 to 16 mph.
- Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 35. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind 6 to 8 mph.
- Sunday Night: A chance of rain and snow after midnight. Increasing clouds, with a low around 25. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Updated, 4:20 p.m., Feb. 8:
The early afternoon wind-driven snow and sleet has changed back to huge flakes of wet snow—which Greenwich officials say could fall at a rate of 5 inches an hour by evening, diminishing visibility to zero.
The blizzard could leave snow accumulations of up to 36 inches, according to Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei. Overnight travel will be especially treacherous Friday evening.
Gov. Dannel Malloy announced at 4 p.m. that there will be a ban on motor vehicle travel on limited access highways in the State of Connecticut .These prohibitions do not extend to emergency response and recovery vehicles, including public safety vehicles, utility vehicles, and vehicles carrying essential personnel or supplies.
The travel ban will remain in effect until further notice.
Greenwich Police James Heavey said there have been several accidents around town, “which is customary in this weather.” But none were serious or involved injuries, including a crash on the Merritt Parkway near Exit 31 in which a Connecticut State Police car was hit, according to Heavey.
“We are imploring people to stay home and let the crews do what they need to do,” Heavey said. (Please see video.)
The police department has deployed its three sports utility vehicles for its backcountry patrols, Heavey said.
It appeared that most residents heeded the travel warnings. From Byram to Old Greenwich, local streets and parking lots normally clogged with impending lunch-time traffic were nearly deserted. Shopping districts downtown and in Old Greenwich were deserted as most businesses were closed. Chase Bank closed at 1 p.m., according to a sign on the branch on Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich.
In Bruce Park, Bonnie and Patrick Gilrane had the park to themselves to let their Rhodesian ridgeback Otea and Bishon Frise Gigi romp in the snow. The Cos Cob couple said they stocked up with provisions including candles, flashlights and batteries in case there was a power outage.
At Greenwich Point, there were perhaps a dozen cars and two hardy runners plying through the gathering snow along the roadway.
In an announcement released Friday afternoon, Tesei also said, “There is a possibility of localized flooding in coastal and low-lying areas. Flooding potential will be greatest at the times of high tide with water elevations currently predicted to be at least 6 feet and perhaps as many as 9 feet above normal.
Heavey said officials will be monitoring the 10 o’clock tide Friday night to determine whether there will be a need for evacuations of low-lying and coastal Greenwich areas.
“Strong winds will accompany this event and the snow from this storm will be wet and heavy. Power lines may be affected. Residents should be prepared for both the possibility of flooding and temporary power outages.”
Just as Malloy activated the state Emergency Operations Center, the Greenwich Emergency Operations Center has been activated. Extra personnel for several town departments including Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Greenwich Emergency Medical Service, Greenwich Police and Greenwich Fire have been brought in.
With the snow emergency, residents cannot park their vehicles in the street and are able to park in municipal lots, according to officals.
Vehicles not in compliance are subject to ticketing and immediate towing.
To keep residents up-to-date on the latest storm developments, the town will be using its reverse 911 telephone notification system again Friday evening, Heavey said. The latest message will come following town officials participating in a statewide emergency management webinar with Malloy at 5:30 p.m., Heavey said.
For residents who missed the messages, they may call the Greenwich Police Department’s non-emergency number at 203-622-8000 and then either dial #8 or follow the automated voice prompts to listen to the recorded community event message.
For the complete message, please see the attached PDF.
Updated, 8:30 a.m., Feb. 8:
Residents are better off staying off the roads...you know it's slick when Greenwich PD is having chains installed on patrol cars. And the snow just started a little more than an hour ago.
The First Congregational Church of Old Greenwich Church Office is closed today.
Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches will be closed today due to the weather. All materials due today and tomorrow have been extended until Sunday, Feb. 10.
Updated, 8:22 a.m., Feb. 8:
Within the past hour, the heavy, wet snow already has covered roads here in Greenwich.
Even though Greenwich Public Schools cancelled classes for Friday, Brunswick School will be open, according to its website. "As current weather forecasts suggest that the early part of the day will consist of rain rather than snow. Parents are urged to use their discretion. If for any reason you feel it is unsafe to send your son(s) to school, we entirely respect your right to make that decision," according to the postedd announcement.
And Greenwich Academy will be open for a half day Friday, according to the school's website. Carmel Academy has now cancelled classes for Friday.
Updated, 5:35 a.m., Feb. 8:
Greenwich Public Schools are now closed for Friday, Feb. 8. "Erring on the side of caution, and in consultation with the Emergency Operations Center, (School Superintendent) Dr. (William) McKersie has decided to close schools today," district spokesman Kim Eves said in an early morning e-mail.
Updated, 10:22 p.m., Feb. 7:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is asking nonessential state employees to stay home on Friday in advance of the coming blizzard. However, evening and midnight shift employees should report to work as normal on Friday.
The Governor also announced that he will fully activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Friday at 9:00 a.m. to continue coordinating the state’s response to the storm.
“Based on the forecasts we’re looking at now, I am asking nonessential state employees to remain at home on Friday,” said Governor Malloy. “If the worst-case scenario plays out, we will need roads clear for emergency personnel and utility crews. But even under the best of circumstances, it appears at this point that the best coarse of action is to keep people off the roads. Whether you’re a state employee or not, if you can stay home and off the roads tomorrow, please do so.”
Updated, 8:12 p.m., Feb. 7:
A snow emergency will go into effect for all of Greenwich at noon, Friday, Feb. 8, according to Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei.
With the town expecting significant snowfall, the snow emergency means: no parking on town streets.
Here is the message issued by Tesei:
“A significant snow event is forecast to arrive in Greenwich on Friday and continue into the weekend. Snowfall totals of 6 to 12 inches are likely and accumulations of up to 24 inches are considered possible between noon on Friday and the afternoon hours on Saturday. Overnight travel will be especially treacherous Friday evening. Winter weather warnings and travel advisories have been issued.
"There is a possibility of localized flooding in coastal and low-lying areas. Flooding potential will be greatest at the times of high tide with a storm surge currently predicted to be at least 6 feet and perhaps as many as 9 feet above normal. Strong winds will accompany this event and the snow from this storm will be wet and heavy. Power lines may be affected. Residents should be prepared for both the possibility of flooding and temporary power outages.
"The Town’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated for this event and all appropriate municipal departments are preparing equipment and adding additional staff to be ready for this storm and its aftermath. The Town of Greenwich Board of Selectman has declared a Snow Emergency effective at 12:00 Noon on Friday February 8th continuing into Saturday at least. Vehicles are not permitted to be parked or otherwise remain standing or stationary on posted Snow Emergency routes during a snow emergency. Vehicles not in compliance are subject to ticketing and immediate towing. Off-street municipally-owned parking lots can be used for parking vehicles displaced from Snow Emergency routes.
"In anticipation of this storm, Greenwich Public Schools will close three (3) hours early on Friday. This will not be a standard two-hour early dismissal, but a three (3) early closing. A schedule of individual school closing times has been posted on the Greenwich public schools website at Greenwichschools.org.
"All residents should take the opportunity to prepare for this storm by making a plan to get home early on Friday and to remain safely indoors until the storm passes. Everyone should take the opportunity to check and refresh their family’s emergency kit.
"This message will be updated from the Emergency Operations Center throughout the storm as warranted.”
Updated, 6:40 p.m., Feb.7:
Greenwich plans a partial activation of its Emergency Operations Center, starting at 10 a.m. Friday as a blizzard approaches the region.
Greenwich Emergency Operations Director Dan Warzoha said, 12 to 24 inches of snow are expected to fall in town and waterfront neighborhoods can expect “moderate coastal flooding at high tide at 10 o’clock Friday night and 10:30 Saturday morning.”
Sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 70 mph are predicted by the National Weather Service, Warzoha said. The town will notify residents with updates, using its emergency telephone system later Thursday night and will continue periodic updates for the duration of the storm, Warzoha also said.
He explained, “The position Town of Greenwich is taking is that our EOC is set up in monitoring status, with partial activation at 10 in the morning. At 11:30 we'll have webinar with the National Weather Service here from the EOC. After that, decisions will be made on whether we’re going to full activation, (have a) snow emergency declaration, emergency declarations will take place at that time.”
In the meantime, many Greenwich schools have adjusted their schedules for Feb. 8.
- Greenwich Public Schools announced it will have an “early, early release” on Friday, Feb. 8—all schools will close three hours early. (The complete dismissal schedule is in the attached PDF at right.)
- The Convent of the Sacred Heart announced it has cancelled classes for Friday.
- The Stanwich School also is closed Friday, according to its website.
- Greenwich Country Day School has cancelled all after-school activities on Friday and there will not be any afternoon bus service
- Brunswick School will dismiss early: 10 a.m. for students who ride town buses; 12 noon for grades 5 through 8; 1:05 p.m. for grades 9 through 12. Bingo Night has been postponed until March 1.
Warzoha said residents should use pre-storm time for preparation. “The word we would like to get out to people this could be a winter storm of historic proportions and people, particularly along the coast should use this time to secure their property in event there is moderate coastal flooding and people should be reviewing their safety plans and their plans for being snowbound for several days.”
He added, “You’re going to need hip waders to get through this stuff.”
Warzoha also said, “We’re trying to impress on people, it’s New England. It’s winter time and it snows. It’s the amount of snow, the intensity of snow will be significant and clearing operations will take longer than normal. People will need to be patient. The length of this event could run until midnight Saturday night.”
Greenwich Department of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, police, fire and Greenwich Emergency Medical Service will work regular shifts tomorrow, with officials finalizing how staff will be deployed during the storm, later Friday, according to Warzoha.
According to Metro-North Railroad, “There will be extra trains during the early afternoon to help customers return home. This schedule will result in reduced service during the PM peak. Train combinations and cancellations are possible at any time, but increase in likelihood as the evening progresses to prevent trains from becoming stranded during the storm.” For more details, visit http://bit.ly/S5Cxrf
In preparation for the winter storm expected to affect the Northeast this weekend, Amtrak is adjusting some service beginning Friday. Due to the large amount of snowfall and high winds forecast to impact the region starting tomorrow, Amtrak is reducing service on its Acela Express and Northeast Regional routes between New York and Boston.
Southbound service out of Boston South Station will be suspended following the departures of Northeast Regional train # 137 at 1:40pm and Acela Express train # 2167 at 1:15pm.
Northbound service out of New York's Penn Station will be suspended following the departures of Northeast Regional train # 86 at 12:30pm and Acela Express train # 2160 at 1:03pm.
Stay with Patch for weather updates, road conditions and closings and cancellations.
Updated, 5:21 p.m., Feb. 7:
Greenwich Public Schools will dismiss classes three hours early on Friday, Feb. 8 in anticipation of the snowstorm. (For the dismissal schedule, please see attached PDF.)
Convent of the Sacred Heart has cancelled classes for Friday.
Updated, 4:20 p.m., Feb. 7:
Supermarkets were packed Thursday with people, many of whom were stocking up in anticipation of what could be a blizzard that could leave at least a foot of snow in the region.
Local officials were meeting Thursday afternoon and were participating in a conference call with Connecticut officials who expect to open the state's Emergency Operations Center at 6 a.m. Friday.
The weather service issued a blizzard warning Thursday afternoon. A blizzard warning means snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill.
The storm is expected to bring storm tides three to five feet above normal with winds up to 50 to 60 mph whipping up three- to five-foot waves, according to the National Weather Service. Coastal flooding in the western end of Long Island Sound is expected, according to the weather service.
One weekend event already has been rescheduled from Saturday, Feb. 9 in anticipation of the storm. According to Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray, the firearms and weapons turn-in program scheduled to be held at Police Headquarters has been postponed until Feb. 23.
Patch will have more details as they become available.
Have you seen the flocks of chubby red-breasted robins flitting around Greenwich?
Hopefully they brought snow shovels and a bit of patience for Mother Nature.
After a few dustings of powdery snow, it appears the first real snowstorm of the season may finally be upon lower Fairfield County. And residents probably should take a cue from Connecticut Light & Power which has issued a winter storm warning to local municipalities.
With sleet and heavy snow whipped by winds of 50 mph or more expected to begin Friday, Feb. 8, near blizzard-like conditions are predicted for coastal Connecticut. The storm is expected to hit on the eve of the winter recess break as Greenwich school students prepare for a vacation week starting Feb. 11.
According to an alert from Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei, CL& P informed local officials:
"CL&P's operational status is currently in WARNING mode. This means we are making appropriate notifications to stakeholders, implementing the appropriate preparedness procedures based on anticipated weather, and placing resources into standby mode.
- CL&P is prepared to respond to a winter storm that may bring between 18-24 inches of heavy, wet snow to Connecticut, beginning Friday between 2 and 4 a.m. The heaviest period of snowfall is expected after midnight Friday into Saturday morning.
- High winds will accompany the snow, with gusts up to 50 mph. Wind gusts in coastal and eastern areas of the state may reach 60 mph.
- This is likely to be a regional event, having the greatest impact in coastal areas of all Northeastern states."
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Here is the winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service issued early Thursday morning with a winter storm watch in effect from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon.
- Hazard types...heavy snow and sleet.
- Accumulations...snow accumulation of 10 to 20 inches.
- Winds...north 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.
- Temperatures...in the lower 30s.
- Visibilities...one quarter mile or less at times.
- Impacts...heavy snow will make for dangerous driving conditions. In addition, the heavy snow and strong winds could result in near blizzard conditions...bring down some tree limbs and cause scattered power outages.
- Precautionary/preparedness actions... A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
Here's the NWS forecast:
- Thursday Night: Cloudy. Snow likely...mainly after midnight. Snow accumulation around an inch possible. Lows in the mid 20s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.
- Friday: Snow in the morning...then rain and snow in the afternoon. Precipitation may be heavy at times. Additional light snow accumulation. Breezy with highs in the mid 30s. East winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.
- Friday Night: Snow...freezing rain and sleet in the evening...then snow after midnight. Precipitation may be heavy at times. Additional heavy snow accumulation. Windy with lows in the mid 20s. North winds 20 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph...increasing to 60 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.
- Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow in the morning... Then mostly sunny in the afternoon. Windy with highs in the lower 30s. Chance of snow 50 percent.
- Saturday Night: Mostly clear and blustery. Lows 10 to 15.
- Sunday: Sunny. Highs in the upper 30s.
- Sunday Night: Mostly clear in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 20s.
- Monday: Cloudy. A chance of snow and rain in the morning...then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
- Monday Night: Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain in the evening... Then a chance of rain and snow after midnight. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.
(For the latest forecast, be sure to check Channel 7 meteorologist Bill Evans' weather blog here on Greenwich Patch.)