The National Weather Service is telling us that the nor'easter they've been watching is now taking shape off of the southeast US coast and will track northward overnight into tomorrow, strengthening rapidly. Snow will start between 1 - 4 AM Thursday, becoming steadier after daybreak and will stick quickly due to the recent cold. The heaviest snow will fall during the day tomorrow, and should taper off after sunset. They have increased snowfall totals to 6.0 - 10.0", and the state is estimating 10 - 16” for southeastern CT. We are expecting wind gusting 40 - 50 mph with severe blowing and drifting snow expected with near blizzard conditions. These winds may bring down branches and create some power outages.
Given what we know right now, we are preparing for the worst and taking necessary precautions. To that end, we will declare a Local Civil Preparedness Emergency, commencing at 6:00 p.m. tonight, January 3, and lasting for as long as is needed due to damage resulting from the storm. Throughout this event, it will be very windy & cold with temperatures as low as 7 degrees and wind chills down to -20.
To accommodate residents who experience problems or power outages, we will open the Town Gym on Campus Drive as a shelter and warming station at 7:30 on Thursday morning. It will remain open as long as it is needed.
The cold temperatures will likely persist through the weekend. The biggest hazards are from extreme cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills. Cold spells of this magnitude bring a risk of frostbite and hypothermia for anyone who does not take proper precautions. Frozen pipes and overworked furnaces could leave your house without heat or running water. Car batteries run the risk of dying.
I urge you to take necessary precautions during this cold snap and to follow these basic tips for dealing with the cold:
- Never venture outdoors without wearing gloves...a hat and several layers of clothing. Wind chill values through Saturday night into Sunday morning could lead to frostbite in less than 30 minutes if proper precautions are not taken.
- Run water at a trickle and keep cabinet doors open to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Never use a stove or oven to heat your home or use an open flame to melt frozen pipes. Many house fires result from these practices.
- Check tire pressure and your car battery. Be sure your car has a winter safety kit that includes a blanket, warm clothes and gloves in case your car breaks down or becomes stranded.
- Take extra steps to keep your pets warm and know their limits to cold.
If you need help and it is not an emergency, you can call the Madison Police at (203) 245-2721 or call a neighbor or a friend. If you are faced with an emergency, call 9-1-1. There will be more information on our Town website at madisonct.org.
Town of Madison, CT