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Tetreau: Fairfield is Past Blizzard Crisis Point, No More CodeRed Alerts [UPDATED]

And other updates from the town's emergency management team.

Please scroll down for all cancellations, posted as we receive them.

Update, 6:24 p.m.

Fairfield public and parochial schools will reopen on a regular schedule on Wednesday, Feb. 13 (except for Notre Dame of Fairifeld, which has announced it will reopen Thursday).

Update, 5 p.m.

An update from officials:

First Selectman Michael Tetreau announced Tuesday that the Town of Fairfield has passed the crisis point of this weekend's historic blizzard and has now resumed its regular winter operations. 

While Fairfield is not 100 percent back to normal, CodeRED alerts will no longer be issued at this time and hopefully not anytime soon.

The town reminds anyone traveling on local roads early tomorrow to please be mindful that there may be students walking to school or waiting for school buses. A decision regarding whether or not schools will open tomorrow has not been made yet.

“I wish to thank everyone for their patience and understanding throughout this historic snowstorm," Tetreau said.

"I want to give a special thank you to our DPW workers for everything they have done to help get our town back up and running again.”

Update, 4:35 p.m.

Superintendent of Schols Dr. David Title updated his blog this afternoon with the following information:

"If possible, I would like to make an announcement about school this evening.  However, if we will have better information by 5 a.m., I may wait until then to make a decision. There is also a possibility of opening tomorrow with a 2-hour delay. Please check our website for the announcement and keep your K-12 Alert information up to date."

For the full blog post, click here.

Update, 12 p.m.

It remains to be seen whether Fairfield schools will reopen on Wednesday, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Title.

A decision will either come later today or not until early Wednesday morning. The district has a full staff of 95 custodial and maintenance personnel working to clear the entrances and exits at each school, Title said. Enough exits/entrances must be clear to meet fire and safety code requirements.

The town's emergency management team also remains concerned about whether sidewalks and bus stops will be cleared by Wednesday morning.

"If we do open, people have to be extremely careful about waiting for buses," Title said. He added that it would be helpful for students to carpool if possible and "if you can put your kids on a bus, please do."

Police Chief Gary MacNamara also cautioned that with the snow narrowing the roads, the driving landscape in Fairfield has changed and so have drivers' habits.

 If schools open tomorrow, he said, drivers must be prepared for slow-moving cars and heavy pedestrian traffic.

"It's serious out there," he said, referring to the accident in Milford on Monday when four people were struck by a plow.

Title added that a roofing contractor is inspecting each school roof today to make sure the roofs are sound before possibly opening on Wednesday. The roof on Fairfield Ludlowe High School -- part of which blew off late last month during a windstorm -- still has to be checked, Title said, but that portion had already been fixed to the point of being watertight.

Department of Public Works Director Joe Michelangelo said Fairfield's roads are "coming along" and personnel have begun to shift resources to clearing school and commuter parking lots.

Pay loaders and trucks began clearing school parking lots late afternoon on Monday and aren't completely finished yet. Railroad parking lots have been cleared, Michelangelo said.

Buses will be ready to go if schools are open Wednesday, Title said. But Michelangelo added the emergency management team is still monitoring whether a bus can safely pass through each street on its route and negotiate any turns.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau said the goal to clear two lanes on every road in town and clear out cul-de-sacs by Tuesday night is still on.

"The Department of Public Works has done a tremendous job -- they've set aggressive targets and have hit them," Tetreau said.

But he can't guarantee that this evening's goal will be met 100 percent. Residents who feel their street has been missed should alert the DPW garage at 203-256-3177.

The DPW currently has all 73 of its employees out on snow clearing operations, Michelangelo said. They've been working around-the-clock since Friday morning with the exception of a few periods Friday night when blizzard conditions ramped up, snow was falling at a rate of 3-4 inches per hour, and plows were getting stuck, Tetreau added.

Since that first 38-hour shift Friday into Saturday, employees have been on 12-hour shifts, both daytime and overnight, Michelangelo said. The DPW has deployed at least 25 tri-axle trucks and 20 pay loaders.

Contractors have been hired to supplement the DPW's work, Tetreau added.

Thanks to the State of Emergency declared in Connecticut on Sunday, the town will be looking for FEMA reimbursement for up to 75 percent of the snow-clearing costs (including the cost of contractors) and any storm-related damage, Tetreau said.

Additional Updates:

  • The Emergency Management Team is keeping an eye on potential snowfall Wednesday night into Thursday and another possible storm this weekend.
  • Residents are asked to shovel out fire hydrants near their properties so fire personnel have access if need be.
  • Mail delivery depends on whether a road has two lanes cleared and if your mailbox is accessible. Mail trucks will not go down a street with only one lane to avoid blocking traffic. That issue should be resolved once two lanes have been cleared on each road, but still residents must make sure their mailboxes are accessible.
  • The majority of commuter parking in Fairfield has been cleared and the rest is expected to be cleared tomorrow. Sidewalks -- specifically in Southport --remain a concern.
  • Members of the Fairfield Police Explorers have been deployed throughout town to help shovel pathways for seniors and disabled residents.
  • Title said he will continue to update his superintendent's blog throughout the day with storm-related posts.

Update, Feb. 12, 9:05 a.m.

As DPW crews continue to clear the roads, here's what you need to know:

- All town offices are open; the Call Center (for storm-related concerns) is staffed until 12 p.m.: 203-254-4899.

- According to Metro North, 75 percent of train service has been restored on the New Haven Line between New Haven and South Norwalk. Here are the details.

- The town trash transfer station and recycling center at One Road Highway is open until 3 p.m.

- The school district remains closed to students (though 12-month staff were expected to report today). However, in a previous CodeRed announcement, First Selectman Michael Tetreau stated there are concerns over whether the bus stops will be cleared and the sidewalks walkable by Wednesday. Patch will post a decision about school on Wednesday as soon as it becomes available.

Update, 8 p.m.

Relief is in sight for Fairfield as the Department of Public Work anticipates clearing two lanes of every road in town by Tuesday evening.

Tuesday's forecast calls for a mostly sunny day with temperatures reaching a high of 42 degrees. Meterologist and Patch blogger Bill Evans says a "big melt" is coming our way, though he warns of some "potential troublesome time periods" between Wednesday night and early Thursday and Friday night and Sunday.

The Pequot Library -- which has been closed since Friday -- will reopen its doors on Tuesday.

Fairfield's Call Center will again be staffed beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Call 203-254-4899 for storm-related questions, concerns, and non life-threatening emergencies.

For plowing and snow clearing concerns, call the DPW garage at 203-256-3177.

Update 5:50 p.m.

According to information from the Emergency Management Team, the Public Works Department has made all town roads open for emergency access, but due to the historical amount of snow fall, making all roads completely passable requires additional heavy equipment.

Public Works should have all roads open with two lanes by Tuesday evening. Please have patience with this process, crews are doing the best they can with limited equipment. Please be advised that as town equipment clears a second lane driveways may again be snowed in.

At this time there are no reported power outages in Fairfield. If you experience a power outage please report it directly to UI at 1-800-722-5584.

The Town Hall Call Center will open Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. Please call 203.254.4899 for questions regarding this event and 911 for life-threatening emergencies. 

Update, 12:50 p.m.

The following is the latest update on town cleanup efforts from First Selectman Michael Tetreau:

"We continue to dig out from 35 inches of snowfall -- the most in Fairfield County and one of the worst single snowstorms in our history.

The Department of Public Works has cleared a single lane on every road in Town. That is over 270 miles of road. Today’s goal is to work towards getting two lanes cleared and getting snow removed from cul-de-sac turn-arounds. We are projecting to have 60 percent of these objectives met by the end of the today. We anticipate having 100 percent of these objectives met by end of day on Tuesday.

Please be ready that as we clear a second lane on roadways, driveways may again be snowed in.

State roads and highways are the responsibility of State Department of Transportation, but in a few dangerous cases, our Town DPW crews are helping out.

Clearing downtown parking will be the next objective after we meet the public safety need of having access to all our roads.

Schools are closed Monday and Tuesday. We will begin cleaning school parking lots overnight. We will do our best to have roads “bus ready” for Wednesday morning. We are still concerned about whether sidewalks will be cleared and also whether there will be cleared spaces for bus stops for students.

If you have questions or need assistance, please call our Call Center at 203-254-4899. As always, call 911 for life threatening emergencies.

Stay tuned to local news media, Town, Police and Fire Facebook pages for additional updates.

Thank you to all our residents for your cooperation and patience.

Stay safe."

Update, 12:18 p.m.

The following is a reminder to clear out your gas meters, sidewall vents, and other similar equipment of snow:

UIL Holdings Corporation and its natural gas subsidiaries, The Southern Connecticut Gas Company, Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation and The Berkshire Gas Company, reminded customers to keep their gas meters, sidewall vents and similar equipment clear of snow and ice after Friday night’s blizzard.

Snow and ice accumulation may interfere with the operation of natural gas meters and regulators, or may slow access in case of an emergency. In addition, snow blocking sidewall vents (found on the sides of many newer homes) may cause them to malfunction or prevent them from properly expelling exhaust fumes, which could cause an unpleasant odor inside the home or even lead to buildup of carbon monoxide.

Customers are also asked to be careful using metal shovels, plows or snow blowers around sidewall vents, natural gas meters and other equipment. Instead, customers are advised to clear these areas with a broom to avoid damaging them.

“After a heavy snowfall like this, it’s important to check the area where the gas meter and sidewall vent are located. If snow and ice have accumulated around them, use a broom to push the snow away until the equipment is exposed,” said Robert Allessio, UIL’s vice president for gas operations. “If you smell an unusual odor in your home, that may be the cause.”

Should a natural gas meter or sidewall vent become encased in ice, or begin to make an unusual noise, customers should contact their natural gas utility. 

Additional Safety Tips:

  • Check your roof and gutters to make sure there is no snow or ice buildup that can fall on your gas meter or piping, or block vents.
  • Take note of overhead lines before cleaning gutters, removing snow from the roof or performing other outdoor work at home. Assume overhead lines are energized, even if you’ve lost power, unless your utility or a licensed electrician informs you otherwise. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detector to make sure the batteries are in proper working order.
  • Never use your natural gas stove or oven as a space heater. If you lose heat, put on warm clothing. If necessary, relocated somewhere with functioning heat, or dial 211 for a referral to a shelter or other emergency services.

 Report Gas Odors, Electrical Outages and Other Problems:

  • Southern Connecticut Gas Company: 800-513-8898
  • Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation: 866-924-5325
  • Berkshire Gas Company: 888-779-8559
  • The United Illuminating Company: 800-7-CALL-UI (1-800-722-5584)

Update, Feb. 11, 9:25 a.m.

The Town of Fairfield Call Center will be open today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to handle storm-related (non-emergency) calls -- just like during Superstorm Sandy.

Residents can call (203) 254-4899 for information.

Tonight's Fairfield Beach Area Rebuilding Information Session is postponed to a date yet to be determined.

The Fairfield Public Library and Woods Branch Library are open today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be no evening hours tonight.

The town's trash transfer station and recycling center on One Rod Highway are open today until 3 p.m.

Update, 9:40 p.m.

Monday morning's forecast calls for a messy commute (for those who can/must commute).

The National Weather Service states snow, freezing rain, and patchy fog are all likely before 9 a.m. The snow and freezing rain will change over to rain as temperatures reach a high near 43 degrees, and patchy fog is expected to remain..

Rain and fog will begin to after 9 p.m. Monday, leading to a mostly sunny Tuesday with temperatures reaching 44 degrees.

Metro-North Railroad will provide half-hourly service Monday morning between New Haven and Stamford and Grand Central Terminal, according to the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council.

A reminder that the Fairfield School District is closed Monday and Tuesday -- 12-month staff members are not to report Monday but are expected back to work on Tuesday. 

Business Closings, Openings, Cancellation Updates

- Town offices will be open for their regular hours, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

- The Fairfield Rotary Club's Monday meeting is cancelled.

- The Fairfield University Bookstore will reopen at 12 p.m. Monday.

- All Wakeman Boys & Girls Club clubhouses will be closed Monday.

- The Pantry on the Post Road will reopen Monday morning (most businesses along main thoroughfares like the Post Road and Black Rock Turnpike are open)

- The Pequot Library will remain closed on Monday, Feb. 11.

- The Fairfield YMCA will reopen at 9 a.m. Monday. The 5:45 a.m. cycling class is cancelled, as is preschool for Monday. The adult swim lap is 9 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. and all classes from 9 a.m. on will be held.

Update, 3:51 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, Fairfield's 35 inches of snowfall is the highest total in Fairfield County and the 8th highest total in Connecticut.

Update, 2:53 p.m.

The latest update from Fairfield's Emergency Management Team:

"It is reported now that Fairfield had 35 inches -- that is almost 3 feet of snowfall. This is the largest snow storm since 1978 when the Governor actually closed the state.

Even though the sky is blue and the winds calm, Fairfield is still under a state of emergency. We are asking residents to stay off the roads to allow our DPW crews to continue with clean up. If anyone does venture out, please realize that snow banks limit visibility especially at intersections. Please also keep an eye out for pedestrians walking in the roads.

As night falls and temps drop, be careful for black ice. DPW is reporting that our primary goal is to get one pass, one lane open on all roads. This may not be fully achieved until Monday. The road-clearing progress is going slower than anticipated due to the large amounts of snow and the need for pay loaders to assist with clearing. We need to have roads clear for school buses before schools can open. We will provide updates on our progress tomorrow. It may take two to three days to get everything back to normal.

We are awaiting word on whether Metro North will provide train service to Fairfield on Monday. We have the dilemma of choosing between road clearing and clearing the parking lot. We will provide updates later today but plan on limited parking at the train stations tomorrow morning.

We want to thank everyone for their cooperation and patience as we continue the road clearing activities.

As stated before, we are expecting rain and possibly more snow on Monday. This rain may cause excessive weight load on roofs -- especially flat roofs. Please take appropriate precautions if your roofs are heavily weighted with snow.

Please check in on your neighbors especially the elderly and those with special needs.

If you do get out to shovel, it would be a big help if you would clear snow away from any fire hydrants.

We will be opening the Town Hall Call Center for non emergency calls as of 9am on Monday. Please call 203-254-4899 for non emergencies and 911 for life threatening emergencies.

And if you get a chance be sure to thank our DPW crews out on the road! When you hear about other towns you realize what a great job they are doing.

Thanks for your help and stay safe."

Update, 2:07 p.m.

Since Greenwich fared pretty relatively well during Friday's blizzard, the town's Emergency Medical Service has sent crews to help in Fairfield and Bridgeport, Greenwich Patch reports.  

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 Dan Warzoha, Greenwich’s emergency management director (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.”

Update, 11:17 a.m.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau has taken to his Twitter account to provide a few updates:

"Snowplowing and road clearing is going slower than projected and we will still be clearing roads on Monday.

Latest reports show Farifield with 35 inches of snow. This is a historic level of snowfall.

Once we get over 3 feet, it is difficult for snowplows to handle the load and this requires the use of Pay Loaders in many cases.

The Town has a limited number of Pay Loaders. We have hired private contractors to help and have requests into the State."

For those who can get out, most of the shops and businesses on Black Rock Turnpike are open.

Update, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.

As Fairfield continues to dig out of the 30 inches of snow (plus snow drifts) dumped by Friday's blizzard, businesses are beginning to reopen.

Chip's Restaurant is open until 10 p.m. tonight. Mo's Wine & Spirits is open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Whole Foods on Grasmere Avenue has also opened for today. Fairfield Pizza and MOLTO Restaurant both opened on Saturday. 

Update, 7:36 p.m.

The latest CodeRed alert form First Selectman Michael Tetreau:

"It is now reported that Fairfield received 30 inches of snow causing drifts as high as 4 to 5 feet.

UI is now reporting some outages. In most cases, DPW has to clear the roads for the UI crews to get access to repair the lines. We are working very closely with UI to get power back to these residents as soon as possible.

The Governor has recently opened roads. However we are still asking residents to stay off the roads to allow our DPW crews to continue with clean up. If anyone does venture out, please realize that snow banks limit visibility, especially at intersections. Keep an eye out for pedestrians walking in the roads also.

DPW is reporting that almost all of our main roads are clear. They are also reporting that approximately 75 percent of our side streets are clear. The road clearing progress is going slower than anticipated due to the large amounts of snow and the need for pay loaders to assist with clearing. We have 380 cul-de-sacs that will most likely not be fully cleared until Monday. We will provide updates on our progress tomorrow.

With temperatures dropping into single digits and wind chills reaching minus degrees, we are asking everyone one to stay home, stay warm and stay safe. We want to thank everyone for their cooperation and patience as we continue the road clearing activities.

Also, we are expecting rain and possibly more snow on Monday. This rain may cause excessive weight load on roofs especially flat roofs.  Please take appropriate precautions if your roofs are heavily weighted with snow.

Please check in on your neighbors especially the elderly and those with special needs.

If you get out to shovel it would be a big help if you would clear snow away from any fire hydrants.

Please call 203-254-4899 for non emergencies and 911 for life threatening emergencies.

And if you get a chance be sure to thank our DPW crews out on the road!

Thanks for your help and stay safe."

Update, 6:04 p.m.

The following is a message from the Fairfield Police Department:

"Fairfield Police are inundated with calls for vehicles stuck in the road. This is a reminder that Fairfield is still operating under a state of emergency and the operation of vehicles in these conditions is dangerous and discouraged.

There is only one tow company working in town at this time. If you get stuck, which is likely, we cannot help.

Please stay home so that you do not impede our ability to deal with actual emergencies."

Update, 4:39 p.m.

Pequot Library will remain closed on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Update, 3:17 p.m.

The Fairfield Public Library and Woods Branch Library will remain closed on Sunday, Feb. 10.

Update, 2:24 p.m.

The latest update from First Selectman Michael Tetreau:

"A nor'easter affecting New England has left 24-30 inches of snow in Fairfield with drifts to 5 inches in places. Gov Malloy has closed all roads until further notice. This includes all local roads. Residents are strongly urged to stay home.

DPW crews have been working since 7 a.m. Friday morning; emergency Services personnel are on holdover basis and are still limited in responding to emergencies until roads are passable. It is estimated that snow removal from town roads will not be completed before Sunday evening at best.

At this time there are no reported power outages in Fairfield; If you experience a power outage please report it directly to UI at 1-800-722-5584."

Update, 11:41 a.m.

Another reminder to be careful:

The Breaking News Network reports that Fairfield emergency personnel responded to a report of a man falling off his roof on Woodridge Avenue.

No further details at this time.

Shelton police reported a man died this morning while shoveling snow in his driveway, according to Shelton Patch.

Update, 11:17 a.m.

A reminder to be careful while outdoors in the aftermath of this blizzard:

Police say a Danbury man died sometime overnight after falling off his porch. The death is under investigation.

Update, 10:03 a.m.

The following is a CodeRed alert from First Selectman Michael Tetreau as of 8:30 a.m.

"Fairfield received an estimated 2 to 3 feet of snow causing drifts as high as 4-5 feet.

The Governor has closed all roads until further notice. This means all roads in town not just state highways.

Abandoned cars left in roads have complicated our clean-up efforts.

Emergency vehicles are having a difficult time responding with current road conditions. We have seen police and fire vehicles get stuck in the snow throughout the night.

Our DPW crews have been on the job since 7 a.m. Friday morning. The snow was so heavy at times that even our snow plows were getting stuck.

Police/Fire/Emergency Communications Center personnel are all on holdover. They can’t get home and new shifts can’t get in.

We estimate that 50 percent of our main roads are clear. We are projecting to have the rest of the main roads cleared later today. The next priority will be side streets. We have 380 cul-de-sacs that will not be cleared until Sunday.

We are asking everyone one to stay home and stay safe. Please be patient. We need time to clear the roads.

Please check in on our your neighbors especially the elderly and those with special needs.

If you do get out to shovel it would be a big help if you would clear snow away from any fire hydrants.

Thanks for your help. Stay safe."

Update, 9:20 a.m.

We made it.

After about 20-plus inches of snow (some residents are saying at least 2 feet in some areas), the worst is over. 

According to the National Weather Service, expect occassional snow showers til about 1 p.m., and then the sun will start to emerge.

United Illuminating reports no power outages at this time.

Gov. Dan Malloy has ordered all roads closed until further notice.

Update, 8:10 p.m.

The National Weather Service is calling for another 8 to 12 inches of snow in Fairfield by morning.

The Fairfield University Bookstore has announced it  will be closed Saturday.

Update, 7:07 p.m.

As of 7 p.m., there are no reported power outages in Fairfield, according to United Illuminating.

The utility company released a statement earlier and said it has bolstered its restoration staffing with out-of-state crews from Maryland, South Carolina, and Florida.

As of 4:45 p.m. -- the time the release was published -- UI had 398 restoration crews at the ready.

The following are tips from UI on what to do during a power outage:

"If you still have Internet access on a laptop or mobile phone, you can see outages throughout our service territory on our Outage Map and Town Outage List. You can also learn about our process for restoring power on the Restoration Priorities page.

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Some foods may last up to 24 hours if the doors are kept shut. (More on food safety.)
  • Call UI at 800-722-5584 (800-7-CALL-UI) to report outages or service emergencies using our automated reporting system, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Promptly reporting outages using this system will speed restoration efforts.
  • Always stay away from downed wires and other electrical service. Always assume they are live and dangerous.
  • If you are a natural gas customer, keep any outdoor gas equipment, such as a meter, regulator or piping, clear of any accumulation of snow and ice. Use a broom rather than a shovel to avoid damaging the gas equipment. Also, when conditions are safe, check your roof and gutters to make sure there is no snow or ice buildup that can fall on your gas meter or piping, or block vents.
  • Never use your natural gas stove or oven as a space heater to stay warm.
  • If your home has generator for use during a power outage, make sure the generator operates outdoors away from your home so the byproducts of combustion don’t enter your living space.
  • Check your carbon monoxide detector to make sure the batteries are in proper working order."

 

Update, 4:53 p.m.

Governor Dan Malloy announced earlier that a travel ban -- with the exception of emergency and utility vehicles -- is in effect for the state of Connecticut until further notice .

"As the weather gets worse over the next few hours, we need to keep the roads clear, so that emergency-related personnel and utility crews can reach those that may need our help," Malloy said.

"By traveling in these conditions, you are not only putting yourself in danger, but you are potentially risking the lives of first responders, utility workers and other residents. Please be safe."

 

Update, 3:30 p.m.

Fairfield Police have responded to "18 motor vehicle accidents and counting," according to the department's Facebook page.

"Please stay off the roads. You are not only risking your life and the lives of your passengers but the lives of our first responders."

Update, 2:45 p.m.

Whole Foods of Fairfield will close at 3 p.m. today. At this time, the staff is unsure of whether or not the store will open Saturday.

The same goes for Trek Bicycle Store, which announced at 2:30 p.m. it would close early today. No word on tomorrow at this time.

Update, 2:36 p.m.

The roads are getting bad, Fairfield residents say, but the Department of Public Works has been keeping up with the accumulations.

Sherry Kenton posted on the Fairfield Patch Facebook page that plows have been up in the Greenfield Hill area three times since the snow started.

"Seem to be keeping up with the accumulatons. Thank you."

Update, 1:41 p.m.

Luigi's Restaurant is closed today and Salon V of Fairfield closed at 1 p.m. and will attempt to reopen Saturday at 12 p.m.

The Pantry will close around 3 p.m. today and will remain closed Saturday.

Update, 12:15 p.m.

The Fairfield YMCA will close by 3 p.m. today. All afternoon and evening classes are cancelled. The YMCA will reopen at noon Saturday, weather permitting.

Update, 12:01 p.m.

The following is a CodeRed alert from First Selectman Michael Tetreau:

"This is First Selectman Mike Tetreau with a message from Fairfield’s Emergency Management Team.

As of 11:30 a.m. Friday, I have declared a state of emergency for the Town of Fairfield.

We are preparing for a very significant storm with blizzard conditions.

The snow and winds will continue to intensify over the next 24 hours with winds tonight at 30-40 MPH and gusts to 60 MPH. Potential snowfall of 16 to 20 inches overnight.

We expect coastal flooding around the high tide mark of 9:45 p.m. tonight.

Fairfield Town Hall is closed as of 11:00 a.m. this morning.

We are asking everyone to stay off the roads. Please get home and stay home as soon as possible.

UI is projecting 10 percent to 50 percent potential power outages and restoration may take as long as 2-3 days. Please look after the elderly or those with special needs in your neighborhood.

If you experience a power outage, please report it directly to UI at 1-800-722-5584.

Please do not park on the street to help with road clearing activities.

If needed, we are prepared to open an emergency shelter. Stay tuned for updates.

Call 203-254-4899 for any non-emergencies, and 911 for life-threatening emergencies.

Stay tuned to local news media, our town web site as well as police, fire, town facebook pages for updates on the storm and road closures.

Thank you and stay safe."

Update, 11:47 a.m.

Post your photos of snow in Fairfield (and accumulations totals, if you have them) here!

Update, 11:33 a.m.

As of 11 a.m., the Town of Fairfield is closed for all nonessential functions.

The transfer station and recycling center will close at 1 p.m. Friday and will remain closed on Saturday.

The Fairfield Public Library will close at noon today and will remain closed all day Saturday.

Governor Malloy announced he will declare a State of Emergency for Connecticut and is asking residents to limit nonessential travel.

Update, 10:32 a.m.

All Fairfield Public School activities scheduled for today (Friday), Saturday, and Sunday have been cancelled.

The Pink Cupcake Shack will close at 1 p.m. today.

Update, 10:12 a.m.

As of 10 a.m., the Fairfield Public Library is open with no plans (yet) to close early.

The Edge Fitness Club of Fairfield will close at 1 p.m. today and is scheduled to reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Mo's Wine & Spirits is still open. The shop will announce whether it will close early or not via Facebook.

The Gymnastics and Cheerleading Academy of Connecticut (on Mill Plain Road) is closed today, Friday. An email will be sent out later today to parents regarding whether Saturday classes will be held.

All three Wakeman Boys & Girls Club clubhouses are closed today.

Update, 9 a.m.

Businesses have started to announce they will close early today. Patch Associate Regional Editor Gary Jeanfaivres says Einstein's Bagels will close by 2 p.m. today.

All Fairfield Edge Fitness Club classes after noon Friday are cancelled; all classes on Saturday are cancelled.

The Stand Juice Company in Fairfield will close at 11 a.m. today.

The Pequot Library is closed today.

The Brick Walk location of Bagel King is closed by the Black Rock Turnpike location is open (at this point).

Here's this morning's forecast from the National Weather Service, with updated snow accumulations:

Friday: Snow. High near 35. Breezy, with a northeast wind 15 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. Total daytime snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Friday night: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 23. Windy, with a north wind 25 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New snow accumulation of 8 to 12 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow likely, mainly before noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 29. Windy, with a north wind 22 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 47 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 13. Wind chill values as low as -1. Blustery, with a northwest wind 13 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.

Update, 4:56 p.m.

Check out the United Way's list of blizzard safety tips.

Update, 4:19 p.m.

The National Weather Service has placed Fairfield -- and the rest of the state -- under a Blizzard Warning from 6 a.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Here's a breakdown of what the warning means:

  • Hazard types: heavy snow and strong winds
  • Accumulations: Snow accumulations of 18 to 24 inches
  • Winds: Northeast 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 45 mph
  • Temperatures: Falling into the low 20s Friday night
  • Visibilites: A quarter of a mile or less at times.
  • Timing: The strongest winds and heaviest snow will occur Friday evening into Saturday morning. 
  • Impacts: Heavy snow and winds will make for dangerous driving conditions with visibilities near zero in white-out condictions. In addition, some tree limbs will be downed, causing scattered power outages.
  • Precautionary/preparedness: a blizzard warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely, leading to whiteout conditions that will make travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If oyu must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.

Update, 4:08 p.m.

The following alert was released by the Fairfield Emergency Management Team on Thursday, Feb. 7:

On Thursday morning the Fairfield Emergency Management Team met with First Selectman Michael Tetreau and posted the following advisory messages to the community:

1. Due to the potential severity of the storm, residents should stock up in advance on any last minute supplies and fuel they may need;

2. Residents are asked to avoid parking on the street in order to allow Public Works crews access to clear the snow more safely and efficiently;

3. Neighbor checks, most specifically on the elderly or infirm, are requested of the community, particularly should there be a loss of power associated with this weather event; and

4. All residents and merchants are asked to limit travel beginning late Thursday evening through Saturday due to the potential duration of the storm which may leave up to a foot of snow.

“Our Emergency Management Team is monitoring this storm closely,” First Selectman Tetreau said.

“It is still too early to tell the exact timing and impact on our town, but whenever the storm hits we will be ready to respond.”

Tetreau added that Fairfield’s Emergency Management Team will continue to prepare for this weather event and respond as needed including opening shelters to protect and serve the community.

According to Deputy Emergency Manager Art Reid, the Town of Fairfield emergency information line message has been updated as follows:

“A nor'easter affecting New England tomorrow will bring heavy snow, high winds and some coastal flooding during the high tide at 9:45 pm Friday night. Fairfield Beach residents particularly on Fairfield Beach Road should move vehicles to high ground during the high tide. Power outages due to wind may occur. All residents should park vehicles off public roads if possible to assist public works to clear streets. Residents should stay off the roads if possible during and after the storm unitl roads are clear. This message will be updated as necessary throughout the event.”

Anyone seeking further information throughout the storm is advised to call the Storm/Disaster Information Hotline at 203-254-4899 or check the town website at FairfieldCT.org.

Original Post, 12:50 p.m. 

As of 12:50 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7 Fairfield remains under a Winter Storm Watch (to take effect at 1 p.m. Friday - 1 p.m. Saturday) as other areas of the state have been put under a Blizzard Watch.

According to the National Weather Service, snow is likely after 3 a.m. Friday and will change to a mix of rain and snow Friday morning. Except accumulations of less than one inch of snow by Friday morning.

The fun begins as the day goes on Friday, as the mix of rain and snow is expected to change over to all snow after 9 p.m. Precipiation will be heavy at times throughout the day and night Fairfield could be blanketed with a forecasted 7 to 11 inches of snow by Saturday morning.

Winds are expected to pick up on Friday night, with gusts reaching up to 55 mph, the National Weather Service states. 

Snow remains likely Saturday morning, and is downgraded to a "slight chance" between noon and 3 p.m. Saturday. The possibility of wind gusts as high as 55 mph remains for Saturday.

Things are expected to clear up by Saturday night. Sunday is forecast to be sunny, with temps reaching 34 degrees. Sunday night is expected to be partly cloudy with a low of 26 degrees.

United Illuminating and CL&P, the state's two major utilities, say they are gearing up for the storm. Spokesmen at both companies said the major concern is the high winds the storm is expected to bring and the possibility that warm air pushing up from the south could mean a heavy, wetter snow in some regions.

"We've already held a few internal meetings and storm-team calls and we're reaching out to external resources," said Micheal West, UI's spokesman. "All of our UI crews will be available" throughout the weekend, he added.

Mitch Gross, CL&P's spokesman said his utility has issued an "all hands on deck" alert to its workers, is holding meetings throughout the today with workers and expect to have "hundreds and hundreds" of workers on duty to deal with outages that could occur this weekend.

Gross, however, cautioned that crews will not be able to restore power during the storm or when the winds are high because of the dangers that could create.

"Our line workers and tree workers will be out there as long as it's safe," he added.

But, he said, the utility is also urging its customers to be ready for the storm. CL&P has storm preparedness tips on its website, as does the American Red Cross. 

A great place to begin when making storm preparations, check the state Emergency Preparedness manual.

CANCELLATIONS:

Pequot Library: The screening of episodes 3 & 4 of season 3 of Downton Abbey, originally scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. will be postponed to Friday, Feb. 15. Saturday's Young Person's Concert, scheduled for 2 p.m., has also been cancelled.

Westport Farmers' Market: Saturday's Farmers' Market is cancelled.

Fairfield Public Library: All Fairfield Public Library programs cancelled for Saturday, Feb. 9 in anticipation of the storm. Friday's Family Dance Party event has been postponed to Friday, Feb. 22.

Mo's Wine & Spirits: Tonight's beer tasting has been cancelled.

Fairfield YMCA: Friday afternoon & evening classes are cancelled. The Neon Nights event has been rescheduled for Feb. 16. 

Ajack February 12, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Ah, Back in town. Arizona was great. Roads are a lot better. The town has worked hard it looks like and trying to rectify our Friday Night gift from mother nature.Slowly but surely we will prevail. It's a lot better than when I left Friday. Glad I got out when I did. Looks like we are back in stride in town or close to it. A friend who plows said that all this will be a memory in about two weeks and he is usually correct abut things like this. He's lived in the area all his life and works harder than most people I know his age. In a while , by Spring, maybe even next week or the week after, we won't even be able to remember much about this storm. Isn't lack of recall great? !
Ajack February 12, 2013 at 04:14 PM
I think a lot of the people in Connecticut have declared that President Obama is in a state of emergency. The sun is out and the snow is melting and we can now get on with our lives... until the next fiasco.
Ajack February 12, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Wait!!!!! Don't give that boob Governor of ours any more ideas....please.One of my relatives went to school with him. What she could tell you about him would make the hair on your neck stand on end. He's going to destroy this state....or the middle class or maybe both. Hey, that would be a twofer...Raised taxes in Stamford an average of 6.7% every year for his ENTIRE tenure there. Some years it was almost 10 %. Check out the facts. John McKinney for Governor. Or Foley for that matter. Anyone but 'Puppet Face'.
Skillz February 12, 2013 at 04:25 PM
Have they canceled school for Wednesday yet?
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 04:35 PM
No, that decision will come later today or early tomorrow morning. I'll be publishing an update shortly.
Skillz February 12, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Thank you. If the expectation that all bus stops and sidewalks will be clear, there will be no school this week.
joeG February 12, 2013 at 04:50 PM
As a kid when we got 2 feet of snow we missed one day of school and the next day roads were cleared. WTF is going on and why is it taking them so long. I've seen plenty of DPW plows driving around the past 4 days with the plow up in the air. I followed one down mill plain and was amazed he didn't drop the plow nor did he have the salt spraying. Drop the plow and lets go. The way they left the intersection at the Hi Ho and Blackground is shocking. 3 days and they force the north bound traffic to drive into the on coming lane in a blind spot for both directions. How many people saw the plows out and about but kept the plows up and were not plowing?
joeG February 12, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Hi Ho and Blackrock
joeG February 12, 2013 at 04:52 PM
I agree. Something is up and it was the plows. Drop the plows and plow.
Skillz February 12, 2013 at 05:01 PM
Be careful to criticize Joe, you will get ripped apart by people on this board. I think the guys worked many hours and must be exhausted but apparently they don't have the proper equipment to keep up with the snow. Apparently they also don't have the proper equipment to put a plow down or throw salt down either. Don't be surprised if there is no school the rest of the week. I grew up in a state to the north just a bit and they could handle snowstorms. Imagine if this hit on a Monday, school would have been canceled for the entire week . . . it still might!
Skillz February 12, 2013 at 05:31 PM
"The DPW currently has all 73 of its employees out on snow clearing operations, Michelangelo said. They've been working around-the-clock since Friday morning with the exception of a few periods Friday night when blizzard conditions ramped up, snow was falling at a rate of 3-4 inches per hour, and plows were getting stuck, Tetreau added." There you go, they don't have the proper equipment and they pulled guys off the roads and the snow piled up.
Fairfield Old Timer February 12, 2013 at 06:17 PM
I don't understand how Reef Road was such a mess after the storm. The plows go back and forth on that road all day to the DPW Garage to refuel and reload with salt/sand. Why didn't they use their plows when they were on that road?
Sandra February 12, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Joe you are making my day. Following trucks is hysterical. I will be right behind you with my camera. Say cheese!
Jman February 12, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Blaming it on the equipment is bogus. Yes it was up to 3 feet of snow but it was the lightest fluffiest snow ever. If you picked up a shovel on Saturday you would know it was light as a feather and could be pushed by a Toyota Tacoma. maybe instead of driving around with the plows in the air they should have dropped them on the ground and plowed. Even today I saw plow trucks driving right over snow covered roads with the plows up. That makes no sense.
Igor February 13, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Whineeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Skillz February 13, 2013 at 12:36 AM
They stopped plowing during the storm. They underestimated how much snow we would get and figured they could plow everything on Saturday. They guessed wrong.
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 01:47 PM
A resident emailed in this comment today: "I just wanted to express my gratitude to the folks at DPW and the garage who cleaned up the roads so quickly after Nemo: I drive a Prius with tires that are perfectly lousy in snow, and I felt as safe as in summertime yesterday while driving around Southport and Fairfield. They did an incredible (and incredibly quick) job."
Jim Eastwood February 13, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Good Morning !!! Schools are open !!!!!! NICE JOB DPW and ALL !!!!! In spite of a "Record storm !!! Hey to all you critics---let's not screw it up by Putting stow BACK into the Street, Driving like an Idiot, Not stopping for Intersection nor the other dumb stuff that has been done. Practice "26 Acts of Kindness" This is be nice tp people week.
Fairfield Old Timer February 13, 2013 at 01:52 PM
"I drive a Prius with tires that are perfectly lousy in snow," That resident should be more proactive and should buy Snow tires for their Prius. We do live in the North East and it does snow here on occaision. Just sayin'...........
Perry February 13, 2013 at 03:00 PM
If we didn't spend so much money on our schools we would have more money for basic services like snow removal. The DPW did a great job. They could have done more if they had better equipment....but I guess the schools always come first. It is time to re-balance our priorities
Ffld Citizen February 13, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Anyone know when mail delivery will resume?
Fairfield Old Timer February 13, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Tuesday 02/12/13
Osborn Hiller February 13, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I know, what messed up priorities spending money to educate our children!
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Hi Ffld Citizen -- Mail delivery depends on whether a mail truck can get down your street without blocking traffic and whether the mail person can easily access your mailbox. If two lanes have been cleared on your street and your mailbox is accessible, you should be getting your mail. If not, call the USPS and ask for an update on their routes -- or let them know that your street is clear: 800-275-8777
Caitlin Mazzola (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Residents have been asking about trash pickup. The answer lies with your independent hauler -- and many of them house their trucks in garages in Bridgeport, so they may or may not still be snowed in. If your hauler can't come pick up your trash, don't forget the Fairfield trash transfer station on One Rod Highway is open (M-F 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.). If you use the trash transfer station, keep your receipt and show it to your hauler when pickup resumes, they may dock the amount off your bill.
Nonsense February 13, 2013 at 04:25 PM
OMG You're CRAZY!!!! Re-balance our priorities from kids to SNOW REMOVAL!?!?! THAT is a great marketing point "Honey, where do you think we should move with the kids?" .. "Well, Fairfield's schools SUCK hon, but man, they have the BEST snow removal system in the country!!!" Cookooo!!!
R. Ludlowe February 13, 2013 at 04:25 PM
what a ridiculous statement. they should have spent more $$$ on your education, ironically.
Chris Kral February 13, 2013 at 04:35 PM
LOL. Now that's funny, Jimmy. But what's even more impressive is that you were able to formulate a sentence. Well done, even for someone with your limited intelligence.
Ajack February 14, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Osborn Hiller. The priorities are to pay administrators, way too many of them, their whack a doodle salaries and benefits. Look up the facts. Spending on administrative coasts are three times or more of what is actually sent on students. The vast majority of the educational spending ends up in the pockets of top administrators who can't deliver the goods with any steady certainty. Want to get things good for the kids, put them on the Board of Education, make them a part of the decision making and see how much they would allot for these over paid self serving bloviates.
Ajack February 14, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Thanks Caitlin for all of your information. It is appreciated much. Good job.

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