Updated: West Hartford Public Schools Closed, Parking Ban Remains in Effect

Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

UDATED Feb. 2, 2015, 11 a.m.: Despite snow, trash and recycling will be picked up today.

Director of Public Works John Phillips said that the priority on Monday morning was clearing the main roads from curb-to-curb to accommodate the morning commute, which reportedly was lighter than normal but slow going.

Phillips said that all plow drivers were back to work after a brief breakfast break and will be doing their best to maintain routes until the snow stops.

“We do not anticipate the snow to lighten up and or move out until later this afternoon. The parking ban is in effect, and even during the daylight hour we ask folks not to park on street.,” Phillips said. Cars parked on the side of the road interfere will plowing the roads to full width, and they will get plowed in, ticketed, and towed.

Paine’s will be collecting trash and recycling on Monday. Please bring your barrels in from the curb as soon as possible to get them out of the way of the plows.

Chuckles, Connecticut’s esteemed groundhog, saw his shadow this morning according to WFSB’s Jill Konopka, and is predicting six more weeks of winter. That he saw his shadow is a bit hard to believe since it has been snowing like crazy all morning. Who else thinks that all the camera lights, not the sun, are to blame for the prediction of a long winter?

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

Original Story

Monday is Groundhog Day, and it appears we are stuck on repeat just like Bill Murray was in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the area, beginning at 9 p.m. Sunday and remaining in effect until 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 3. Predicted snowfall totals vary and are dependent on the amount of sleet that mixes with the snow, but most estimates are in the 10-12 inch range.

Assistant Superintendent Andy Morrow has announced that all West Hartford Public Schools will be closed Monday.

The West Hartford Department of Public Works has issued a parking ban, which goes into effect at 12 a.m., Monday, Feb. 2. A decision about the opening of the West Hartford Public Schools has not been made at this time.

“This has all of the characteristics of a typical, high impact. winter storm, most likely in the range of last Monday’s storm,” Director of Public Works John Phillips said Sunday evening in an email.

Phillips said that will begin gearing up to combat this storm with an advance team reporting for duty at 8 p.m. Sunday and the full complement clocking in at midnight. Contractors will be called in if needed.

“With very little traffic demand we will focus our attention on maintaining our routes,” Phillips said. Rates of 1-2 inches of snow per hour “can challenge us but not overwhelm us,” he said.

“Our first milestone will be to make the morning commute as safe as possible, but that may be difficult as the heaviest snowfall is expected around that time,” said Phillips.

“A parking ban goes into effect at midnight, and like last week we are hoping for overwhelming compliance so we can clear streets safely and efficiently.” Phillips said that he will be working closely with the West Hartford Police Department to enforce the ban.

There are no plans for West Hartford to open its Emergency Operations Center for this storm, but Gov. Malloy issued a news release Sunday afternoon indicating that the state’s EOC will open at 4 a.m. Monday. All non-essential state employees are requested to report to work at 10 a.m.

According to the news release, “With a winter storm bearing down on the state, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is urging residents to take it slow and, if possible, avoid travel during the height of the storm on Monday morning. Gov. Malloy has also directed the activation of the state’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 4 a.m. on Monday to monitor conditions across the state and quickly coordinate any assistance that may be necessary.”

“I am asking everyone to take it slow for tomorrow’s commutes and if possible to avoid travel during the height of the stormMonday morning,” Gov. Malloy said in the release. “I have asked all state employees to report to work at 10 a.m. so that the DOT can clear the roads without the usual morning rush hour traffic. Private sector companies may want to consider similar plans,” the governor said in the release.

“We are also taking steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter. I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and continue to encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.”

“State emergency management officials continue to prepare for the potential impacts of this storm and continue to provide me with regular updates,” Governor Malloy added.

Check back regularly for updates and storm-related news.

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