COPY-Obama approves emergency declaration for Connecticut - WFSB 3 Connecticut

COPY-Obama approves emergency declaration for Connecticut

President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency for Connecticut after the massive storm that blanketed the state with several feet of snow.

The order means federal money will be used to help state and local response efforts. The White House announced the declaration Sunday.

Obama authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide equipment and resources needed to help storm recovery.

Five people confirmed dead in Conecticut

Authorities have confirmed that at least five people have died after a massive blizzard dropped nearly 3 feet of snow across the state overnight.  

An 81-year-old woman was killed in Prospect after she was hit by a car while she was blowing snow off her driveway. The incident is being investigated as a hit-and-run.

A 53-year-old man was found dead by a relative outside his residence in Bridgeport on Old Town Road on Saturday afternoon.

Police officials said it is possible the unidentified man, who was last seen 10:30 p.m. Friday, died from "hypothermia cardiac arrest."

The Bridgeport Police Department is continuing to investigate his death.

A 49-year-old man was found not breathing at his home on Darrin Drive in Shelton around 4 a.m.

Investigators said they believe the man "suffered a medical event" while plowing his driveway after his motor vehicle got stuck.

Neighbors located the man after his wife became alarmed that he had not returned.

Snowmobiles had to be used to get the man because the roads were impassable.

An autopsy will be performed on the man. His name will not be released until notification of next of kin.

In Danbury, police are investigating the untimely death of man after he fell outside and was found Saturday morning.

His death is not believed to be suspicious. However, police said they are unsure why he died.

Officials with police said they are not sure if his death is storm-related.

Malloy confirmed five people had died from storm-related injuries. However, he provided no further information.

State police had responded to 3,000 calls as of 6:30 p.m.

Blizzard Charlotte creates historic conditions

Many forecasters said Blizzard Charlotte could be one for the history books after the mammoth storm system brought the Northeast to a standstill.

Snow started falling on Connecticut around 8 a.m. Friday, and the National Weather Service issued blizzard warnings from Maine to New Jersey as the storm advanced.

As Charlotte continued to rage on throughout the night, more than 40,000 utility customers were left in the dark. Most of the outages were attributed to the heavy, wet snow and strong winds that brought down tree limbs.

According to the Channel 3 Early Warning Weather Center, the worst of Blizzard Charlotte hit Friday night and continued well into Saturday morning.

"This is almost the worst-case scenario for snow accumulation," said WFSB Meteorologist Mark Dixon.

Malloy said near-record snow has fallen in seven of the eight counties throughout the state. The National Weather Service reported that Blizzard Charlotte dropped as much as 38" in parts of Connecticut.

"We were right on the money with this one," said WFSB Meteorologist Scot Haney.

The National Weather Service released the top snow totals per county:

  • Fairfield 35"
  • Milford 38"
  • East Haddam 35.5"
  • Gilman 27"
  • New Hartford 33"
  • Manchester 32"
  • Staffordville 31.4"
  • Woodstock 26"

Haney said wind chills are going to cause temperatures to drop to 0 degrees and even, -10 degrees in some areas.

Sunday is expected to have a high 35 degrees with some melting. However, no localized flooding is expected on Sunday, Haney said.

Travel still being impacted by Blizzard Charlotte

Malloy declared a state of emergency Friday, however, he lifted a ban on travel at 4 p.m., which will allow people to drive on all roads in Connecticut.

"Crews are out clearing roadways as we speak, but the fact is we are going to feel the impact of this storm for some time," Malloy said in a statement. "The longer we can keep traffic out of town centers and off of our highways, the more effective our recovery effort will be."

Connecticut remains in a state of emergency.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch has issued a travel ban for the city, which means motor vehicles are not allowed to travel on streets in the city.

"While the governor has lifted his travel ban, we are still working hard to clear main arteries and snow emergency streets leading to our hospitals and fire stations," Finch said. "We need drivers to stay off the roads and allow our snow plowing crews to do their work."

People who travel in Bridgeport will receive fines and cars will be towed.

Officials from Bridgeport and Hartford are also looking for private contractors to help with the cleanup efforts.

"We're using everything we have to clean the streets as quickly as possible," said Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. "DPW, HPD, HFD and private contractors are working in tandem to remove cars and clear main arteries. Still, the storm was historic in every sense; Hartford received over 2 feet of snow."

However, hundreds of closings and parking bans went into effect starting Thursday afternoon in advance of Charlotte and remain in effect.

Click here for all the parking bans.

Bradley International Airport remained closed Saturday, but will reopen at 6 a.m. on Sunday. Officials said the main runway is in excellent shape and could handle life safety flights if needed.

However, access to ramps and parking is limited at the airport.

Due to current weather conditions, Peter Pan has canceled bus service through Sunday.

According to the bus company, the decision was made due to safety concerns for employees and passengers.

Metro-North resumed train service on its New Haven Line Service to/from Stamford Saturday. According to its website, Metro-North train service between Stamford and New Haven remains suspended until further notice because parts of the line are buried under 3 feet of snow.

Malloy said Metro-North has limited service on Saturday, however, he said full service is not expected to return Monday.

The weekend bus service from New Canaan Branch was canceled.

Amtrak canceled all service between New York and Boston for Saturday as well as the Springfield Shuttle service, which runs from New Haven to Springfield.

Malloy said that in addition to the state plows, private contractors will also work to clear Connecticut's roads, highways and interstates. There were at least 1,000 DOT plows on the roads throughout the evening and well into Saturday morning.

The Early Warning Weather Team will keep you updated throughout the duration of Blizzard Charlotte.

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