Simsbury town officials and emergency teams are preparing for what could be a powerful winter storm that is expected to bring heavy snow, sleet and damaging winds — with gusts blowing up in excess of 60 miles per hour.
The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch for northern Conn. as the storm approaches. Precipitation could begin to develop late Thursday night or early Friday morning and continue until Saturday afternoon.
"We are preparing for a major winter storm that may include tree damage due to the high winds, drifting snow, [and] white out conditions," public works director Tom Roy said.
Total accumulations are expected to be 18 to 24 inches of snow, along with possible traces of ice.
Roy said the public works crews have been preparing for the storm by fueling trucks and heavy equipment, making sure all trucks are carrying chainsaws, fueling generators, and stocking up on food supplies for staff. All public works staff and contractors with additional heavy equipment and tree trucks are on call.
"The most important massage for residents is to get all the supplies they may need now, so they can stay in their homes during the storm - with the forecasted winds and snow intensity, it will be very dangerous to be out during this storm," Roy said.
The town of Simsbury is currently asking residents to be prepared to shelter in place and to make sure to stock up on basic supplies, according to Cooke.
The Simsbury Police Department recommends residents take the following steps to prepare for the storm:
- Take ample time to prepare for the storm (food, gasoline for vehicles, generators and snow removal equipment, home heating fuel, batteries, etc)
- Charge cell phones
- Establish plans for safe snow removal (shovels, contractors, etc.)
- Check snow removal supplies to make sure they are in good operating condition
- If a household, family member or friend has medical concerns such as alternative oxygen sources, mobility limitations, etc. plan ahead
- Provide for clear access for emergency personnel if they are needed at your residence
During the storm
- Stay off the road during the storm or when the roads have precipitation on them
- Don’t park on the street during snowplow operations
- Clear sidewalks that you are responsible for
- Safely clear snow from fire hydrants around your home
The town's emergency operations team, which includes Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Kowalski, Police Chief Peter Ingvertsen, and Tom Roy, has met to discuss plans for the storm and will provide updates as necessary.
"Until we know what happens we won’t really be in a position to make any decisions on a shelter,” Cooke said.
Emergency officials are also recommending that residents register for CT Alerts and Simsbury Community Alerts at http://www.town.simsbury.ct.us/home/pages/alerts.
If anyone needs immediate assistance during the storm they should contact the Simsbury Police Department at 860-658-3100 or 911 for emergencies.
Additional town contact information:
- Emergency (police, fire and ambulance): 911
- Routine Police Department calls: (860) 658-3100
- Routine Fire Department calls: (860) 658-1971
- Storm Information Hotline: (860) 658-3197
- Poison Control: (800) 222-1222
- Emergency Shelter Information: (860) 658-3100
- Emergency Pet Shelter Information: (860) 658-3100
- Social/Senior Services:(860) 658-3283
- Power Outage: (800) 286-2000
- Town of Simsbury: www.simsbury-ct.gov
- Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company: www.simsburyfd.org