Snow emergency in effect for Greenwich, Post e-edition to be available free of charge

UPDATED WEDNESDAY 9:05 P.M. — With more bad winter weather seemingly on the way, Greenwich has set a snow emergency to go into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday night. The expected storm has already closed schools and other places on Thursday and will likely make a mess of the morning commute.

Forecasts have the town and other coastal areas of Connecticut receiving between six to 12 inches of snow and a winter storm warning will be in effect for Greenwich and the surrounding area from early Thursday morning, starting at midnight, until 6 a.m. all the way on Friday. Snow is expected to develop late Wednesday night and continue through the day on Thursday, with the heaviest coming on Thursday morning into the afternoon. Forecasts say that there should also be rain mixing in with the snow, particularly in coastal areas like Greenwich.

“Snowfall will make travel treacherous on Thursday,” the National Weather Service said on Tuesday.

Hersam Acorn Radio will be live on the air at 6 a.m. on Thursday to bring the very latest on the weather and can be found at Greenwich-post.com. The Post’s Feb. 13 edition will go out as scheduled but in case of a disruption of postal service, the Post’s e-edition will be available to all readers by visiting Greenwich-post.com and getting the “E-Edition” menu option on the top of the site. Click “Log-In” and the paper will be yours free of charge in this form for this week.

Because of the storm, Metro North has announced a reduced schedule for Thursday and will seek to avoid recent issues that have left passengers stranded and angry.

Thursday’s plan will accommodate for 75% of normal weekday ridership, Metro-North officials said. Some local and express trains will be combined and will make additional stops and consolidated trains will depart at the later of the two times.  The trains to be combined were chosen to minimize customer impacts and to arrive within 10 to 15 minutes of their normal time. The schedule is available at MTA.info.

To prepare for the storm, Metro-North has called in hundreds of extra personnel to salt platforms and clear them as snow begins to accumulate at the railroad’s 122 stations. Switch heaters have been activated to ensure switches continue to function despite cold temperatures and icing.  Patrol trains will operate throughout the night to knock snow off the rails and third rail and to keep ice from accumulating on the overhead catenary wire on the New Haven Line.

Metro-North will have rescue engines will be manned and positioned at all yards, including Bridgeport, in case a passenger train becomes disabled and need a tow. There will be mechanics positioned at Pelham in case there are problems with the pantographs, the arm-like appendage at the top of New Haven Line trains that draw power from the overhead catenary wires.

Fortunately, Greenwich’s public schools will not be impacted by this latest storm since they are already on winter recess. On Wednesday, citing the forecast, Brunswick School, Greenwich Academy and the Convent of the Sacred Heart. The town is already urging residents to be cautious throughout the storm, urging them not to travel during it. The Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich will be closed on Wednesday and Greenwich Library will at least have a delayed opening until noon with the possibility that all branches will be closed because of the weather and road conditions.

The snow emergency means that people are not allowed to park in designated areas of the street to allow for plows and emergency vehicles to pass through. Those areas are clearly marked and are listed here. Drivers in violation of this will be subject to ticketing and towing. Vehicles that use street parking can legally park in municipal lots until the snow emergency status is lifted.

In a reverse 911 call to residents on Wednesday night, Greenwich Police Capt. Mark Kordick said, “Even if you do not live or work on a snow emergency street, if you have off-street parking available for your vehicle, you are encouraged to use it during and after the storm.  Snow and ice accumulations from previous storms are already narrowing some roadways.  It is much easier for the Department of Public Works to fully clean the street without vehicles parked in their way.  Your cooperation will ensure that road crews can keep all streets open for emergency first responder vehicle traffic.”

As of Wednesday, the forecast was not considered serious enough for the town to open up its emergency shelters. The Public Safety Complex on Greenwich Avenue can be used as a warming center and a place to charge electronics if needed. Extra staff has been added to first responder and public work crews for the snow storm.

Connecticut Light & Power said on Tuesday that it is prepared for the storm and to respond to service issues. While Greenwich has been hit hard by recent storms, power service has not experienced any long-term disruptions save for a few isolated incidents.

Tune into Hersam Acorn Radio and check Twitter.com/greenwichpost for the latest on the storm.

 

Melvin Mason contributed to this story.

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