Editor's Note: This article will be updated on an ongoing basis as more information becomes available. If you have information to share or have questions, please note them in the comments. Most of us are housebound today, many of us without power, so let's be each other's eyes and ears.
Gov. Dannel Malloy lifted the travel ban imposed for all roads in Connecticut at 4 p.m. yesterday, but roads were still hard to navigate. East Lyme crews did a good job getting down to black top on main roads but Old Lyme plowing was delayed because the heavy snow required the town to obtain heavier equipment.
Still, if you don't have to go out, stay put.
"It's critical right now that residents stay off the roads, so that our plows can continue their efforts to clear our streets and highways," said Governor Malloy. "This is a record setting storm. It's going to take time to dig out of the snow. Stalled or abandoned vehicles will only slow that process. Unless you face an emergency, please stay put."
As of 8 a.m. on Sunday, Connecticut Light & Power reported that 59 percent of East Lyme has no power; 32 percent of Lyme is in the dark, and 68 percent of Old Lyme has no power. That figure was an improvement over the numbers from Saturday evening, especially in Lyme and East Lyme. Old Lyme has the highest percentage of homes without power of any municipality in the state. In short, our three towns were among the hardest hit.
Overall, 2 percent of Connecticut Light & Power customers are without power (25,459 households). Most of the outages are still in southeastern Connecticut and it could be days before the power comes back.
Heavy snow and high winds combined, as predicted, to down tree limbs and powerlines last night. Hopefully, most people had stocked up on necessities to help them ride out the storm and its aftermath but Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) warned outages could be "prolonged."
CL&P pre-staged employees and materials in locations across the state yesterday, adding tire chains to trucks to get a grip on slippery roads but there was little they could do at the height of the storm. CL&P had approximately 400 line workers on hand, hundreds of outside line workers coming into help.
The towns are coordinating with CL&P for restoration. Please be sure to report your power outage by contacting CL&P at 800-286-2000. Old Lyme is asking residents to contact the EOC Call Center at 860-598-0120 to assist the town in tracking the outages.
Please stay clear of downed power lines and treat any downed wire as LIVE. Remember to operate generators, charcoal and gas grills outside as they produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.
Yankee Gas has developed a Winter Safety YouTube video to help customers understand how to safely perform that work. The video is available at http://youtu.be/hY44x-Mi5w8.
Emergency Shelter And Warming Centers
The regional shelter is open at the East Lyme Middle School at 31 Society Road in East Lyme. It is recommended that you bring medications, personal toiletry items, blanket and pillow. Pets are also welcome provided they have a leash, food and food bowls, current rabies tags or proof of vaccination. The Town of Old Lyme reports it has arranged emergency transportation to the shelter. If you need transportion, call the emergency operations center. There is no 9 District Bus Service today.
The Respite Center will open at the Lymes Senior Center later today for Lyme and Old Lyme residents. Hot meals, wi-fi and restrooms will be available. Showers are NOT available at this time.
East Lyme and Old Lyme's EOC is open and is staffing the Call Center. Old Lyme residents experiencing power outages and those with special needs are urged to report it at 860-598-0120.
As we continue to dig out from this storm, please check on your neighbors to see if they need any help.
Roads and Parking
Town crews are out in full force sanding and plowing the roads. The plow drivers will work 16 hours at a time, per state limit, and then take a four-hour break. They will then be sent out again.
Utility Commission workers will not be able to get back on the roads until the storm ends and the roads are cleared. The commission is urging people who have grinder pumps to limit their water use, as the crews will not be able to go out and energize them until the roads are cleared.
The town of East Lyme still has a street parking ban. A parking ban is in effect in Old Lyme for Lyme Street, as well as Ferry Road, from Lyme St. to Route 156.
The first priority on Saturday was be clearing the roads of snow and obstructions, according to police. CL&P will begin to restore power after roads are cleared. Police are asking snowplow contractors to not plow snow into the roadways, as that delays the clearing of the roads.
*From the National Weather Service
Today: Sunny, with a high near 33. Wind chill values as low as -3. North wind 5 to 7 mph becoming west in the afternoon.
Tonight: Increasing clouds, with a low around 23. Calm wind.
Monday: A chance of snow and sleet before 9am, then rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 46. South wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.