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For Bridgeport, a Dec. 17 snow record

Updated 12:12 am, Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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  • Jim Coffey, of Milford, takes his dog Tobey for a snowy walk along West River Street in downtown Milford, Conn. on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Connecticut Post
    Jim Coffey, of Milford, takes his dog Tobey for a snowy walk along West River Street in downtown Milford, Conn. on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. Photo: Brian A. Pounds

 

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BRIDGEPORT -- Powdery, blowing snow covered the state Tuesday, snarling roads and causing dozens of accidents throughout Connecticut.

The National Weather Service said that 3.6 inches of snow fell in Bridgeport, the largest single-day accumulation for Dec. 17 in the city's history. Before that, the record was 2.4 inches, a mark set in 1961.

Other parts of Fairfield County and southern Connecticut got about 3 inches.

But NWS meteorologist Joe Pollina said that one day of heavy snow isn't an indication that this winter will be worse than normal. Long-term forecasts have shown there are equal chances that it could be an average or below-average winter, in terms of precipitation.

Tuesday's storm wreaked havoc on afternoon and evening traffic. At the heart of the evening rush hour, Interstate 95 northbound was moving slower than 20 mph across the entire state. In more congested areas of lower Fairfield County, speeds were in the single digits.

Shortly after noon, the state police tweeted that there had been 28 vehicle accidents in the state Tuesday, three of them with injuries. Just a few hours later, as snow started to fall more heavily across Connecticut, that number of accidents had more than tripled, to 96 -- seven of them with injuries.

Bridgeport city officials did not declare a snow emergency, but roads remained slippery in some areas, with accidents reported throughout the evening. Even emergency responders were advised to be careful with responding to calls Tuesday night.

The State Department of Motor Vehicles canceled all road driving tests because of poor visibility and road conditions. Hundreds of schools were reportedly closed across the state, and some may have a delayed opening on Wednesday. A full list of delays, cancellations and closings can be found at http://www.ctpost.com.

The storm was largely expected to clear out Tuesday night, with the possibility of a few snow showers Wednesday morning as the last remnants of the system move eastward. Temperatures are expected to warm up over the next couple of days, possibly creating a new threat: ice.

Daytime temperatures on both Wednesday and Thursday are expected to climb into the high 30s and low 40s, meaning that some of the snow could melt. But nighttime lows are expected to dip back into the 20s, meaning it could freeze and create slippery conditions on untreated roads and sidewalks.

In giving advice to drivers, Pollina echoed the advice of many officials across the state.

"Be cautious when driving; take it slow," Pollina said as the snow fell. "Leave extra time."