Governor visits towns heavily affected by Blizzard Charlotte - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Governor visits towns heavily affected by Blizzard Charlotte

© A crew clears a paring lot on Monday after three days. © A crew clears a paring lot on Monday after three days.
© The National Guard arrives in Bridgeport © The National Guard arrives in Bridgeport

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy discussed the restoration efforts around the state after Blizzard Charlotte at a news conference Sunday night.

There were reports of cities and towns not listening to the governor's warning to plow throughout the storm. However, he said that Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker followed his advice and kept plowing.

"Plows and crews have been working since Friday morning and have not stopped since, working before, during and after the storm," Malloy said.

Malloy toured parts of the Connecticut shoreline Monday, including Branford and Bridgeport where several feet of snow fell from Blizzard Charlotte.

While traveling throughout the state, Malloy said he visited a few crashes and was upset at how people were driving on the highways.

"It is clear that people aren't going as slow as they should be," he said at a news conference Sunday evening.

The Department of Motor Vehicles has also canceled road tests for Wednesday.

"We are doing this as a safety precaution so towns have more time to clear hazards on the streets and remove snow," said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey. "All motorists traveling on the roads need to be careful of these problems created by piles of snow. We don't want to endanger those taking the test, those on the road and our employees."

Malloy said Connecticut is asking for help from neighboring states.

President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency for Connecticut Sunday, which means federal money will be used to help state and local response efforts.

Malloy said he is working with the federal government closely and more help is being requested.

For federal reimbursement, he was going to let towns select the costliest 48 hours so they could seek reimbursement since the storm is impacting each town differently.

Authorities said seven people have died from storm-related injuries.

Roof collapses reported throughout the state

Malloy said there has been a reported 16 barn collapses, which is up from five on Monday morning.

During his news conference, he advised school officials to clear their roofs.

One of the worries in Branford has been roof collapses after two occurred Sunday night. There is a total collapse at the old Meineke Muffler on West Main Street and a partial collapse at condo complex at 141 Peddlers Dr.

"I took a look up and the roof was falling in literally under me," said Robert Willard of Branford, who owns the condo. "It was crazy."

The building inspector immediately declared the condo at 141 Peddlers Dr. uninhabitable.

"The fire marshal pointed out there was breaks on every floor in the condo after the initial fall," Willard said.

Nobody was hurt at either roof collapse in Branford.

The bubble roof on the sports complex in Tolland collapsed early Sunday morning. The weight of the snow also caused the bubble at the Cheshire Community Pool to collapse.

A barn at a dairy farm on Jackson Hill Road in Middlefield had its roof collapse Saturday morning. There were reports that some animals had to be euthanized.

The roof at the Napa warehouse on Route 3 in Middletown also collapsed Saturday morning. People were inside, but no one was hurt.

Travel still being impacted while crews continue cleanup

In Bridgeport, a travel ban remains in effect Monday as crews continue to clear roads in the city.

"We do have assistance coming from Pennsylvania and Illinois. We are talking to the Canadians," Malloy said. "The one problem is we have a couple of weather forecasts out there that is causing them to second guess sending equipment here."

The governor saw that many roads in the city are still impassable and Malloy told Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch he is asking for more federal help and trying to get bigger equipment in, including the Connecticut National Guard, to help clear snow.

"We are all under the gun with this thing," said Finch, who appeared frustrated but expressed confidence in how the process was moving. "The snow didn't just fall here or one town or the other. It fell on all of the state."

The city has posted a list of its passable roads on its website. Click the following link to see the list.

"It is so important to stay off the roads. Plow trucks and payloaders are encountering abandoned cars blocking their path across the city and the work grinds to a halt," Finch said on the city's website Sunday.

The Bridgeport Police Department is going to ticket abandoned cars, which are delaying the cleanup process.

"We have plow crews working in every section of the city to clear our streets. This is an historic storm and the recovery effort is going to take some time," Finch said. "Every car out on the road slows our snow removal efforts."

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