Gov. Lamont extends cold weather protocol, closes state offices ahead of Monday’s storm

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Sunday, Governor Ned Lamont activated Connecticut’s Emergency Operations Center for winter storms and extended the state’s severe cold weather protocol to Wednesday ahead of the significant snowstorm expected Monday.

RELATED: Stay put, emergency kit, essentials: How you can prepare ahead of Monday’s major snowstorm

Around a foot of snow and strong winds are expected across the state early Monday morning through Tuesday. Power outages and whiteout driving conditions are likely; a blizzard warning is also possible.

Sunday, the governor announced, “he is directing the State Emergency Operations Center, which is already activated in a virtual capacity for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to remain activated for the purposes of monitoring and responding to conditions resulting from the severe winter storm that is forecast to impact the state beginning the morning of Monday, February 1, 2021.”

In addition, the governor is directing that Connecticut’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, which went into effect on Thursday and was scheduled to expire on Monday, remain in effect and be extended through 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 3.

While in effect, the protocol sets up a system for state agencies and municipalities to coordinate with United Way 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive protection from the severe conditions. Anyone in need of shelter is urged to contact 2-1-1 and they will be directed to the nearest available locations.

– Office of Gov. Ned Lamont

RELATED: State activates severe weather protocol, opens warming centers to keep residents out of bitter cold

“During this storm, we are expecting the rate of snow to come down fast, falling at rates of up to one to two inches at times, which will cause whiteout conditions that will make travel dangerous,” Governor Lamont said. “I am urging everyone in Connecticut to make plans now so that you can avoid all unnecessary travel throughout the day on Monday, particularly during the afternoon when snowfall rates are forecast to be at their heaviest.”

CT Dept. of Transportation crews have already begun pre=treating roads throughout the weekend.

The state reports they have 634 plow trucks, 18 industrial loader-mounted snow blowers, over 100 front-end loaders prepared for deployment, and roughly 200 contractors on standby to supplement the plow fleet.

Residents are encouraged to avoid driving if at all possible. Those who must drive are encouraged to check for the latest road updates and alerts before traveling.

Governor Lamont also ordered “all executive branch offices closed to the public on Monday, Feb. 1. All Level 2 state employees who’ve been physically reporting to their office buildings throughout the pandemic should stay home out of an abundance of caution.”

The governor is directing that:

  1. Level 2 state employees who are able to telework shall telework for the duration of the storm-related closures;
  2. Level 2 state employees who were designated as Level 1 for the purposes of supporting the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic who are able to telework shall telework for the duration of the storm-related closures unless otherwise directed by their commissioner or agency head; and
  3. Level 2 state employees whose job duties cannot be performed via telework should not report to work in-person.

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