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.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared a state of emergency Friday and Connecticut remained in a state of emergency.

The governor advised residents to stay home Monday and work from there, if possible.

Municipal employees are "working hard" to clear snow and make the roads. The state is expected to release 65 front loaders to cities and towns around state to help with their cleanup efforts.

Malloy asked anyone traveling on the roads Sunday night and Monday morning to use caution because freezing rain is expected to fall Sunday night. The freezing rain will make the snow heavier.

"Monday's commute will not be easy," he said at news conference in Hartford Sunday night.

Malloy also encouraged carpooling whenever possible.

WFSB Meteorologist Mike Cameron said "a light wintry mix" will occur Monday morning and change to rain by midday. The rain could be heavy at times.

"With freezing rain coming, large snow piles will glaze over with ice and become jersey barriers," Malloy stated Sunday night. "Any car that loses control is at extreme risk."

State police have been called to more than 400 crashes since the blizzard hit, according to the governor.

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

Several schools will be closed Monday as well. Click here for a full list.

The governor has told all non-essential state employees not report to work Monday.

"Getting streets clear and making them safer for everyone is a priority, so I am asking nonessential state employees to stay home tomorrow," Malloy said in a statement Sunday afternoon. "I understand that everyone wants to get back to normal as quickly as possible. Crews are working around the clock to accomplish that goal. But the last thing we need at this point is a typical morning rush hour commute. Traffic build-up will only delay the effort to clear our roads."

State courts will also be closed Monday. The Department of Motor Vehicles will be closed Monday and Tuesday, but AAA offices will be open for license renewals, according to governor's office.

More than 400 Connecticut National Guard troops have been assisting with the cleanup efforts and helped about a 100 trapped motorists since Friday. The troops are also "providing sheltering operations, transportation of emergency responders, evacuations and route clearance," Malloy said.

In total, Malloy said there has been six roof collapses throughout the state.

Malloy visited with Hamden Mayor Scott D. Jackson and West Haven Mayor John M. Picard Sunday afternoon.

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

Hamden received some of the highest snow totals in the state, and Malloy discussed plans to deal with the largest snowfall in the town in 40 years.

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