Greenwich cleans up from storm, no major issues reported but residents urged to stay home

Old Greenwich snow for webUPDATED 1:20 P.M. — The Town of Greenwich remains under a snow emergency status, but that is expected to be lifted at 8 a.m. Sunday morning.

Figures for the area show that Greenwich received approximately 15.5 inches of snow, putting it in the lower end of Fairfield County snowfalls. Bridgeport, which got a reported 30 inches, is the highest in the county while at 38 inches, Milford appears to have gotten hit the hardest in the state.

In a press release issued by the town on Saturday afternoon, First Selectman Peter Tesei said that the snow emergency status is likely to be lifted tomorrow morning and that the driving ban throughout the state is in effect for Greenwich as well despite the comparatively lower snowfall. Under direction from Gov. Dannel Malloy state highways have been closed since Friday and on Saturday that was extended to local roads as well, clearing the way for emergency vehicles to get through and town work crews to clear off the snow. Mr. Tesei said the status of the state ban will be reassessed at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Metro North service is starting to return though. In an announcement sent out Saturday afternoon, it was said that  New Haven Line train service will resume with the 1:37 p.m. train departing Stamford that will make all local stops to Grand Central Terminal and the 2:03 PM train departing Stamford making all local stops to Grand Central Terminal. Train service between Stamford and New Haven, including the branch lines, remains suspended until further notice. Metro North said that people should visit or call 511 for further details. Amtrak is not expected to resume service on Saturday, however.

In a call sent out Saturday afternoon by GPD Capt. Mark Kordick, residents were told to stay in their homes to allow for safer and quicker cleanup.

“While the snowfall has stopped and Greenwich was certainly not hit with the accumulation amounts that have devastated much of the state east of here, many local roads remain dangerous and the governor’s statewide travel ban remains in effect,” Capt. Kordick said. “Greenwich Public Works crews need to work for several more hours and it will be later this evening at least before any sort of normal roadway conditions exist.”

The town’s Emergency Operations Center remains open. So far the town has not had to activate any emergency shelters. Unlike Southeastern portions of the state, Fairfield County was not hit hard by power outages and as of 1 p.m., Connecticut Light & Power listed no Greenwich customers as being without power and Capt. Kordick said the town is not anticipating any major utility issues, a nice contrast to prior storms, including the last heavy snow storm, where residents were left without power for days.

The town offered several safety tips, urging residents to be careful while shoveling snow since it is quite heavy and wet. Residents are also being told to make sure and clear off any fire hydrants on their property so that fire trucks can get to them in case of emergency. The town, like the state, also told residents to make sure that vents on their homes are not blocked by snow because that can potentially cause a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide in a home or building.

“As residents work to shovel themselves out, it is important for everyone remain mindful of the fact that snow must not be shoveled or plowed onto public streets and sidewalks,” Capt. Kordick said during his call. “Not only is it discourteous to your neighbors, putting snow on the road is unlawful and violations are vigorously enforced by the police department.  If you hire a snow plowing contractor, please make sure that they comply with this legal requirement.”

Despite the travel ban, several town buildings are open for recreation this weekend. According to the town, Greenwich Point Park will open at 1:00 p.m. and The Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink will open at 2:00 p.m. and close at 10:00 p.m.  A public skating session will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center is open until 8:30 p.m. but the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center is closed for the rest of the day. Paddle Tennis Courts are closed until further notice. On Sunday, the Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center will open at 9:00 a.m. and close 6:00 p.m. The Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink will open at 6:45 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m.  A public skating session will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Eastern Greenwich Civic Center will open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m.

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