The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for East Lyme, Old Lyme, and Lyme as a powerful winter storm is expected to begin to affect the region starting Thursday night and lasting into Saturday afternoon.
All three towns are already making preparations, fueling up the public works trucks and contacting residents with special needs to make sure they have what they need to wait out the storm and any potential power outages.
East Lyme has instituted a parking ban, effective Friday at 6 a.m. until Sunday February 10, prohibiting street parking to facilitate snow and ice removal. Overnight parking is permitted in all town lots.
"Take it seriously," urged East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica. "It could be one of those storms that’s could be very serious and dangerous."
Lyme Town Hall will be closing at noon on Friday. First Selectman Ralph Eno is already in touch with the town's CL&P liaison in anticipation of power outages and the town is touching base with residents who have special needs in advance of the storm. Lyme Public Library has also postponed its party for Emma the cat, which was to be held on Feb. 9, to Feb. 16.
Old Lyme Emergency Operations Center is monitoring conditions and will be providing updates on its Facebook page throughout the weekend. Residents are advised to stay off the roads, be prepared for power outages, and make sure that generators are properly connected and located outside.
The National Weather Service's blizzard watch will be in effect from Friday at 1 p.m. and continue through to Saturday at 1 pm. The storm system will bring with it heavy snow, sleet and damaging winds — with gusts blowing up in excess of 60 miles per hour. The strongest winds will be felt overnight Friday and the storm could dump as much as two feet of snow on Southeastern Connecticut.
There's a possibility of coastal flooding, particularly at high tide which will occur Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. White-out conditions are also possible. The state police and town officials are urging people to stay off the roads.
Utilities Prepare for Potential Outages
Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating are both gearing up for the storm. The major concern is the high winds the storm is expected to bring—gusts of up to 60 mph—and the possibility that warm air pushing up from the south could mean a heavy, wetter snow in some regions.
Mitch Gross, CL&P's spokesman said his utility has issued an "all hands on deck" alert to its workers, is holding meetings throughout the today with workers and expect to have "hundreds and hundreds" of workers on duty to deal with outages that could occur this weekend.
Gross, however, cautioned that crews will not be able to restore power during the storm or when the winds are high because of the dangers that could create.
"Our line workers and tree workers will be out there as long as it's safe," he added.