Citing a record snowfall, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy decided to keep state offices closed Monday to give municipal governments time to clean up the roads.
At a 6 p.m. briefing Sunday, Malloy said the amount of snow the state saw has not been seen since the 1880s and getting some heavy equipment to clear the roads is going to take some time.
Traveling around the state Sunday, Malloy said municipalities are doing everything they can, but urged the public’s patience. He said the state is making progress and may be able to make about 65 front loaders available to municipalities by Monday afternoon.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said his city, which is 18 square miles, is working with a fleet of 22 trucks, 4 pay loaders, and three smaller pay loaders. Progress is slow.
“At the moment, it’s taking an average of 90 minutes for 2 trucks and a pay loader to clean a side street but 6 hours for two trucks. Three additional pay loaders are on their way … The goal is to have all side streets cleaned by tomorrow morning. We need people to stay off the roads in order to expedite the process. Bottom line: we know how frustrating this is but are asking folks to be patient. We’re doing everything we can to return our city back to normal,” Segarra said.
Since the storm started 189 vehicles have been towed and the parking ban is still in effect.
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. had a similar message for his city.
With rain expected tomorrow, Malloy said he wants to avoid a typical morning rush hour commute. Also the cities where most of the state offices are located are behind in cleaning up what amounted to more than three feet of snow in some urban areas.
He asked all nonessential state employees not to come to work Monday. The Judicial Branch and all state courthouses will also be closed. The state’s three U.S. District Courthouses will be open.
Most of the state’s universities, including the University of Connecticut have canceled all classes.
Malloy asked those who have to get to work tomorrow to try and carpool because the amount of available parking has been taken up by large piles of snow. He also encouraged employers to opt for telecommuniting where appropriate.
“If you corporation has a policy of allowing people to work at home, this is an occasion to do that,” Malloy said. “If you can help us hold down traffic another day or so that will benefit the entire state as we continue to make substantial progress.”
Connecticut Light and Power has restored all but 3,758 customers as of 8 p.m. Sunday. United Illuminating has about 149 customers without power.
President Barack Obama granted the state’s declaration to declare the storm an emergency.
Malloy said Connecticut is the only state at the moment that has been granted the declaration.
State offices and courts will also be closed Tuesday, Feb. 12 in celebration of Lincoln’s birthday.
Click here to read about what’s happening in cities like New Haven.