Not quite 20 inches, but the city sees a lot of snow

DANBURY – The northeast on Saturday didn’t quite drop as much snow as expected, but it was enough to bring the region to a halt.

Estimates for the hard-to-predict storm ranged between two inches and nearly 20 inches for the Danbury over the week. In the end, somewhere between six and 12 inches was dropped over much of the area.

“There’s nothing really exciting to report with the snow in Bethel,” said Bethel Emergency Management Director Tom Galliford. “The snow is diminishing and we have about six inches. There are no power cuts and no problems. There are a few places where the wind is an issue and it might continue overnight, but it was nice and calm.

It was the topic of the day. Considering it was a weekend storm with no school and many out of work, residents largely stayed away from local roads and businesses. Many local businesses have chosen to close, given the conditions.

The possibility of widespread power outages also did not materialize. By late afternoon, only 340 Eversource customers were without power in the state, including 15 in New Milford.

Danbury officials focused on keeping people off the roads, triggering a ‘level 3’ snow emergency on Friday night. The statement includes a parking ban and only allows emergency vehicles, emergency personnel and four-wheel drive vehicles on the roads.

“I don’t think we’re going to get that significant amount of snowfall,” Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito said. “So really positive for us in the face of the storm.”

By mid-morning, the mayor had not heard of any major outages or problems in the city. Emergency Services Director Matthew Cassavechia remained in constant contact with Esposito and his team throughout the storm.

“I have to tell you the information so far has been very positive,” Cassavechia said, noting that the city and its various emergency management teams have been preparing for and tracking the storm all week.

The conditions allowed plow operators in the area to continue their work for much of the day.

“We have already prepared,” said Danbury utilities superintendent Tim Nolan. “We are eliminated and we will be.”

Rudy Marconi, Ridgefield’s first coach, said the snowstorm passed without incident in town, snowfall is light with about eight inches on the ground so far.

“We were lucky,” Marconi said. “We have no power outages, no downed power lines and no emergencies. With potential outages expected, we were particularly concerned about the cold weather tomorrow (Sunday) and were preparing shelters in case they would be needed.

“The wind was more of a factor for us. Speaking to our Director of Public Works, he said that when a road is plowed the wind blows the snow back onto the road causing snowdrifts. Luckily not many people came out and that helps. I don’t want to jinx it, but so far the snowstorm in New England has been safe for us.

Further east in Southbury, the wind was also a factor, but there were no major issues to report.

“It’s not the kind of snowstorm we were expecting, and that’s a good thing,” Southbury first manager Jeffrey Manville said. “There’s nothing unexpected to report. The reports I’m getting, there are no outages and no power lines are down. We’ve probably got seven or eight inches of snow so far (at 12:30 p.m.) The wind is blowing here, creating snowdrifts in places.

The same could be said for New Fairfield.

“It was fairly quiet, we have no reports of any snow related emergencies in town,” said Patricia Del Monaco, New Fairfield First Selectman. “The snow has actually stopped but the wind is picking up a bit. I see deviations. Hard to say how much snow we got with the drift, but it’s around 4-8 inches.

The snow, which started overnight, was largely over in western Connecticut by late Saturday afternoon. The heaviest snow fell around 2 p.m. However, the snowplow drivers planned to be on the roads in Danbury until the roads were cleared.

“Before you leave, the roads should be pretty much black,” he said.

“By all accounts, right now as we watch this storm, we are hopeful that we can get back to normal,” Cassavechia added.

Journalist Dan Nowak contributed to this report.

About Florence M. Sorensen

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