Town ends snow emergency, cleanup continues

The Town of Greenwich  has ended its snow emergency status and will close the Emergency Operations Center as of 4 p.m. on Sunday but cleanup from the blizzard continues.

The final update connected with the storm, which left approximately 15.5 inches of snow on Greenwich, was phoned out to residents Sunday afternoon by Capt. Mark Kordick of the Greenwich Police Department. While the state’s snow emergency continues and the federal government has declared Connecticut a disaster area due to the magnitude of the storm, which dumped more than three feet of snow in portions of the state, Greenwich’s snow emergency status was lifted at 8 a.m. Sunday morning. No decision has yet been made about the status of the public schools for Monday.

“Town of Greenwich public works crews will continue working throughout the day and night to clean and dress roads and sidewalks for the opening of business on Monday,” Capt. Kordick said during the call, which was made through the town’s reverse-911 system. “Local public safety operations have returned to normal with the exception of Greenwich EMS which currently has ambulance and paramedic supervisor units committed to mutual aid operations in the Town of Fairfield and City of Bridgeport.

Caution is still being urged by the town, though.

“While local road conditions are generally passable and improving everyone should exercise caution when driving,” Capt. Kordick said. “Furthermore, significant portions of roadways in other parts of the state remain treacherous.  Please consider this if you are contemplating travel especially to locations east of Greenwich.”

There is also new concern about flooding on Monday as there is expected to be rain and higher temperatures which will begin to cause melting of the large quantities of snow.

“Localized flooding of streets near clogged storm drains is possible and weight loading from accumulated snow and trapped rain on roofs,  especially flat roofs,  may be a concern,” Capt. Kordick said. “To the extent it is safe to do so, residents should attempt to clear downspouts and roof drains on flat roofs.”

Residents were also urged to clear away snow from vent areas in their homes to avoid potentially lethal buildups of carbon monoxide and also clear off snow from fire hydrants in front of their home to make sure they could be accessed in an emergency. Residents were also warned to be careful when clearing out snow.

“Overexertion from lifting heavy snow can be dangerous especially for those unused to strenuous physical activity,” Capt. Kordick said. “Heart attacks from snow shoveling are a real danger.  Don’t forget to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water when shoveling.”

The storm is thought to have led to five deaths in Connecticut, some from heart attacks while shoveling snow. So far there have not been any reported incidents in Greenwich.

Greenwich was able to avoid the heavy damage and power loss that hit other parts of the state, particularly in the Southeast. In a statement from the town. First Selectman Peter Tesei and Emergency Operations Director Dan Warzoha thanked all the town employees for their work during the blizzard.

In their statement they said they, “…extend their gratitude to all town personnel who aided in Winter Storm Nemo preparation and cleanup over the past 72 hours.  This includes employees from the Department of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Public Health, the Nathaniel Witherell, Board of Education, and Town Administration.”


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