Governor Lamont Activates State Emergency Operations Center, Implements Tractor Trailer Ban Ahead of Severe Winter Storm
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that as a severe winter storm with blizzard conditions is anticipated to impact Connecticut, he is implementing a travel ban on tractor trailers for all limited access highways statewide effective at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022, and remaining in effect until further notice. The tractor trailer travel ban is being implemented in coordination with neighboring states that are also anticipating severe conditions.
Additionally, under the governor’s direction, the Connecticut State Emergency Operations Center will be activated at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, and staffed virtually and/or in person with personnel from several state agencies, such as the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (including the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the State Police, and the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control), the Department of Transportation, and the Connecticut National Guard, as well as liaisons from Eversource and United Illuminating. The State Emergency Operations Center has already been activating in a virtual capacity to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Forecasts are projecting blizzard conditions for much of Connecticut on Saturday, with snowfall amounts currently expected to reach 12 to 18 inches in the western portion of the state and going up to 18 to 24 inches in eastern portions, particularly near the Rhode Island border.
At times, snowfall will be extremely heavy with rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour expected, causing whiteout conditions that will make visibility very limited. Governor Lamont is advising everyone in Connecticut to anticipate sheltering in place beginning Friday night through Saturday evening. He is encouraging everyone to avoid all unnecessary travel throughout the duration of storm.
“The forecast right now is projecting blizzard conditions for a significant portion of the state on Saturday, which is why I am urging everyone statewide to plan to shelter in place beginning Friday night and remaining there throughout the day on Saturday until the storm is over,” Governor Lamont said. “At times, snowfall rates will reach whiteout conditions, making visibility extremely limited, and when this happens, we cannot safely send plows to clear the roads for the safety of the drivers and anyone else in their vicinity. During the height of the storm, travel will be treacherous, and we are strongly urging everyone to remain off the roads to the greatest extent possible.”
Crews from the Connecticut Department of Transportation have been preparing in advance of the storm. The state has 634 plow trucks, 18 industrial loader-mounted snow blowers, and more than 100 front-end loaders that are prepared for deployment, in addition to roughly 200 contractors that are on standby and ready to supplement the state plowing fleet.
The New Haven Line will operate a storm schedule (Metro-North schedule Z), while all other bus and rail services statewide are suspended on Saturday. The last trains and buses will run as scheduled on Friday.
“The Connecticut Department of Transportation is geared up and ready to go,” Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said. “All equipment, vehicles, and crews are at the ready, and our storm center is monitoring the weather forecast and conditions closely. Although this is a changing storm, we are urging the public to stay home and off the roads. Let our crews work. And as always, if you must be out, use extreme caution and do not pass the plow. With our staffing shortages, we’re asking for patience, it will take longer to clear our routes and keep up with accumulating snow.”
While it is encouraged to avoid driving during the storm if at all possible, motorists can check www.cttravelsmart.org for the latest road updates and alerts before traveling.
For emergency management news and resources, visit the state’s CTPrepares website at ct.gov/ctprepares or download the CTPrepares app to mobile devices at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.