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Snow the latest punch from Mother Nature

Connecticut Post
Updated 3:58 pm, Friday, November 9, 2012

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  • Mark Palmer cleans off a car in Stamford, Conn., on Thursday, November 8, 2012. Photo: Lindsay Niegelberg / Stamford Advocate
    Mark Palmer cleans off a car in Stamford, Conn., on Thursday, November 8, 2012. Photo: Lindsay Niegelberg

 

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Connecticut has survived a pre-winter punch after a nor'easter dumped several inches of wet snow across the region.

Schools were either delayed or closed, and roads were slick early this morning as people dealt with the latest storm to disrupt their lives.

What was supposed to have been an inch or less of snow along the shore and 3-5 inches inland turned out to be considerably more. Snowfall totals ranged from 13.5 inches in North Haven to 5.3 inches in Stamford, according to the National Weather Service.

As the morning rush hour began, major highways were clear, but secondary and back roads were especially slick. Police urged motorists to slow down and allow extra time to get to work.

In southwest Connecticut were were several fender benders, but no major accidents. In upstate Connecticutm the nor'easter is being blamed for two traffic fatalities. State Police said two people were killed in separate accidents during the storm. A tractor-trailer jack-knifed on Route 20 in East Granby and collided with a car on Wednesday, killing one unidentified person.

In a separate incident, a car flipped over in Lebanon, causing a fatality.

The nor'easter that brought heavy winds to the state Wednesday, gusting to 36 mph in Bridgeport and 48 mph in Groton.

Roads were slick early Thursday morning because road crews didn't have a chance to pre-treat the roads, but all 632 state Department of Transportation trucks were out overnight plowing the roads. At the start of the morning commute, the state's highways were clear of snow and surfaces had been treated, but the tricky conditions slowed traffic.

Several area school districts, including Milford, Monroe and Ansonia, cancelled classes Thursday while others, including Stamford, Bridgeport and Danbury had 90-minute delays.

Fortunately, there are no major power outages reported by United Illuminating and Connecticut Light & Power. Power outages spiked slightly in Connecticut as a nor'easter hit the state just nine days after Superstorm Sandy raked the Northeast. CL&P reported 842 outages on Thursday morning, up slightly from Wednesday morning before the autumn snowstorm arrived.

UI reported the nor'easter had affected 13,900 customers, but quickly restored power to 13,500. UI tweeted Thursday morning that "99.8 of customers have power ... crews repairing more today."

As with Sandy, most of the outages were in shoreline towns that were hit by surging sea water from Long Island Sound last week and then early and heavy snow from the nor'easter on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

In Stamford, the nor'easter produced no reported flooding or power outages, said Emergency Management Director Thomas Lombardo. "We were so fortunate. No reported costal flooding from the nor'easter and not one reported power outage from the nor'easter," he said Thursday morning.

Stamford still has eight homes without power stemming from Sandy and 20 customers remain without power in Greenwich, Lombardo said. He said power crews were held over Wednesday to deal with any outages, but they did not happen. "Sandy took a lot of leaves off the trees and maybe took a lot of trees that were the most vulnerable," Lombardo said.

At 7:45 a.m. Stamford firefighters were dispatched to Rockrimmon Road for a low hanging wire and a tree on fire.

Greenwich officials said they too had no power outages from the storm. Glenville Road between Huntzinger Road and Weaver Street was closed Thursday morning due to a fallen telephone pole in the road. Greenwich Schools opened two hours behind schedule.

According to the National Weather Service, rain, today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 46. Winds are from the north between 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing tonight likely to cause some slippery road conditions early Friday morning.

While nearly 10 inches of snow fell on Danbury overnight, road crews there were deployed around town by 7 p.m. Wednesday to salt and plow the streets, fire officials said.

Consequently, most of the main arteries in town had been cleared in time for the morning commute Thursday.

Metro-North ran on a reduced speed schedule because of slick rail conditions that caused delays between 10 to 20 minutes Thursday morning.

Airlines canceled at least 1,300 U.S. flights in and out of the New York metropolitan area, causing a new round of disruptions that rippled across the country.

New York City received 4 to 7 inches of snow, with the highest totals in Queens and Staten Island.

The Connecticut Judicial District announced a delayed opening of 60 to 90 minutes; the Fairfield County Courthouse on Main Street in Bridgeport will open at 10.

WTNH meteorologist Gil Simmons said "I'm as angry at you are'' as he introduced the forecast. "But the snow is ending and temperatures will climb into the 60s for the weekend.''

Staff writers Frank Juliano, John Nickerson, Libor Jany, Jim Shay and Associated Press contributed to this report.