Updated: Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011, 2:49 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011, 4:50 AM EST
New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) - Clearing skies are giving some Connecticut residents a chance to begin digging out after today's massive snow, while others are watching and waiting for it to end.
As much as two feet of snow or more socked towns in the state, and it was possible some places might see isolated measurements of 30 inches.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we get a 30+ inch report," Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Gil Simmons said. Some of the intense snow bands were now expected to linger past 1:00 p.m., Simmons said.
The National Weather Service officially recorded 29.5" of snow in North Haven. There was an unofficial NWS report of 28 inches at the ski area in Woodbury, 22.5" in Woodbury, and 22 in New Milford.
The storm center was moving further away from Connecticut, and scattered snow showers were expected past 5:00 p.m. "10:00 o'clock -- it's out of here. Slow clearing overnight," Simmons said.
The snow played havoc with state roads and highways. I-95 in the Westport/Fairfield area was closed for hours because of the storm. Other accidents, spinouts and stalls caused congestion on the highways and secondary roads. Speaking on Good Morning Connecticut Wednesday, State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said troopers had responded to more than 500 calls for assistance from stuck motorists.
Officials from Gov. Dannel Malloy on down to city and town leaders urged residents to stay home and avoid the roads so Department of Transportation and local Public Works crews could go their jobs.
"I gotta tell you -- if you're coming out of your driveway and you don't have a four-wheel drive that's really good with good tires, you're probably gonna get stuck," Gov. Malloy said at a Noon hour news conference to talk about the storm.
"Let us do our job. Let us clean the roads. We're doing a remarkable job on the major roads, the highways," the governor said.
The governor earlier told all non-essential first shift workers to stay home. He also advised private-sector businesses to follow the state's lead and be flexible in allowing workers to stay home.
City leaders in many towns, including Bridgeport, also declared snow emergencies. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch said "roads are not passable." He had a plow truck take him to the city's emergency Operations Center this morning.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton issued a Level 3 emergency Wednesday morning, ordering all cars off the roads. "City of Danbury is closed. The entire city. Period.", he said in a message on Twitter.
In New Haven, Mayor John DeStefano said City Hall would not open until Noon. Mayor DeStefano said secondary roads in the city were difficult to navigate.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said on Twitter his city of working with state officials to expedite clean-up efforts. "Essential that residents not drive in this challenging weather," the mayor said.
Metro-North temporarily suspended service between Stamford and New Haven due to a disabled train at Bridgeport. The commuter line was already operating trains on a Sunday schedule today, and temporarily suspended service on the Danbury and Waterbury Branch because of the storm. Amtrak had problems of its own when a tree knocked out electrical wires in Massachusetts, knocking out Acela and Northeast Regional train service between New York City and Boston.
At Bradley International Airport, spokesman John Wallace said the airport is in a "Planned Closure" state and there is no commercial plane activity. They are keeping the main runway open for emergencies.
When the snow ends expect very cold nights to follow. We could see overnight temperatures down into the single digits Thursday night and Friday night.
Gov. Malloy said his favorite stuck vehicle was a private plow truck. When the operator got stuck, he got out the snowblower he was carrying in the back of his truck and began to dig himself out.
Looking on the bright side of the day, the governor said "this is agreat day to be making grilled cheese sandwiches, and Campbells tomato soup is a good combination so I would recommend that to everybody."