Darien slammed by winter storm
Updated 3:01 pm, Wednesday, March 15, 2017
DARIEN — Though the snow that slammed Darien was downgraded from a blizzard to a winter storm, much of the town was shut down for what was the heaviest snowfall of the season.
Department of Public Works director Edward Gentile said cleanup on Tuesday, March 14 “went very well and it helped that there were very few if any vehicles out on the roads…thanks to the Darien residents that heeded the travel ban.”
The travel ban, which was for all state highways and roads, went into effect at 5 a.m. Tuesday and was lifted at 5 p.m.
According to the Nation Weather Service Darien got between 10 and 12 inches of snow.
Gentile said the storm was the largest the town has seen this year in terms of manpower and salt usage.
On Monday afternoon, Darien Library was the first to announce plans to close all day Tuesday, March 14. Darien Public Schools were also closed on Tuesday and had a two-hour delay on Wednesday. Similarly, Darien Town Hall was closed Tuesday due to the inclement weather and the Board of Finance’s scheduled public hearing on the 2018 budget was postponed to March 21.
“I’m grateful to our DPW staff, police and emergency responders who will be working around the clock during the storm,” Stevenson said in an email addressed to all Town Hall staff prior to the storm.
Eversource reported 173 Darien customers lost power briefly during the storm, but all outages were fixed by Wednesday.
“We design and build our system to stand up to the effects of storms like this,” said Mike Hayhurst, vice president of electric system operations at Eversource.
Despite the downgrade from a blizzard warning to a winter storm warning on Tuesday morning, Metro-North Railroad announced just before noon on Tuesday that all train service in and out of Grand Central would be suspended. Service was modified on Wednesday as well, with some combined and canceled trains.
Despite the blizzard warning for most of Connecticut, the nor’easter did not meet the National Weather Service’s definition of a blizzard.
The definition of a blizzard is that falling and/or blowing snow reduces visibility to below a quarter mile, along with sustained winds or winds that frequently gust to 35 mph or more...and that these are the predominant reported conditions for three consecutive hours.
At Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks blizzard criteria were met for 1 hour and 55 minutes from 12:05 to 2 p.m.- one hour and five minutes short.. Lawrence, Mass. was the only spot in the Northeast that met the blizzard definition.