1. No one is as excited as weather forecasters today, who are describing Winter Storm Nemo as potentially "historic" and "crippling"! The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning starting at 6 a.m. today and on through Saturday until 1 p.m., with a predicted accumulation of one to two feet of snow, strong winds, and possible whiteout conditions that will make driving treacherous.
Weather.com is going for a more modest prediction of just two to four inches of snow today, with a high temperature of 35 degrees and an overnight low of 22 degrees. The real action should begin this evening with wind gusts of up to 50 mph and blizzard conditions.
There's also a possibility of coastal flooding with high tides at 3 feet higher than usual. The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory from 6 p.m. on Friday until 12 a.m. Saturday.
2. Judging from the activity around town yesterday, people are taking this impending Nor'easter seriously. Stop & Shop in East Lyme looked as if swarms of locusts had descended, particularly in the bread, meat, produce, water, and canned goods aisles. Apparently we're all going to be subsisting on rotisserie chicken, salads, bread, and spam.
Staff were restocking the shelves as the store closed at midnight last night, so don't worry if you didn't get out to the supermarket yesterday. The shelves should be restocked today. If you're wondering what to stock up on in case of a power outage, you'll find a few tips here.
3. Lines at local gas stations were long yesterday as people topped off tanks and filled containers with fuel for generators. At least one gas station in East Lyme ran out of fuel but tankers have been out early and often to refill pumps.
The Stop & Shop gas station in East Lyme received two deliveries of about 8,000 gallons apiece yesterday, the second one arriving just as the pumps were running dry. That particular gas station normally closes at 10 p.m. but stayed open until midnight yesterday.
If there's a power outage, gas pumps won't work so do make sure you get gas and don't forget to get cash too, because ATMs and credit card machines will be offline if we lose power.
4. If you work for the state, take the day off!
“Based on the forecasts we’re looking at now, I am asking nonessential state employees to remain at home on Friday,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “If the worst-case scenario plays out, we will need roads clear for emergency personnel and utility crews. But even under the best of circumstances, it appears at this point that the best coarse of action is to keep people off the roads. Whether you’re a state employee or not, if you can stay home and off the roads tomorrow, please do so.”
The Governor will fully activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) today at 9:00 a.m. to continue coordinating the state’s response to the storm and he'll be holding media briefings at noon and at 6 p.m. from the state's EOC.
5. If you're looking for more local updates on the storm and its aftermath in the event of power outages and road closures, you'll find all the news here on Patch and on our Facebook page. The Town of Old Lyme will be posting regular updates on its Emergency Management Center Facebook page. The Town of East Lyme's Public Safety Facebook page is also a good way to stay on top of the situation.
The Town of Lyme usually posts updates on its Web site but as local residents know from experience by now, if the power goes out in Lyme, the town's Emergency Management Center and Town Hall will be without power, without internet, and relying on satellite phones to communicate with CL&P. I'll do my best to keep you posted though.