A message from Peter Neff, Director of Clinton Public Works:
5:00pm UPDATE: Saturday, Feb. 9 Final Update For today.
Department Crews are finishing up for the night and planning to return tomorrow morning at 7:00am. Contractors will be also return to work with the Department and continue the process of opening roads. Plans are in process to deal with the massive amount of snow in the Post Office Square area. And on our sidewalks. We apologize to those residents who are on roads that have yet to be opened up. We will be in early tomorrow morning with our contractors to work on the balance of roads that have not been opened.
During the middle of the storm we received about 4 inches of sleet mixed with rain. This was then covered by approximately 15 inches of snow. The temperature dropped and the layer of sleet became a layer of ice. Our plows are unable to break the layer of ice; therefore, we need to send a pay loader down the middle of every street and break up the middle of the road. Once that happens we can then use our plows to finish the job. There are close to 80 miles of road in Clinton. We have two department pay loaders and tomorrow morning we will have an additional five pay loaders supplied by private contractors.
Despite this being the worse storm and even exceeding that of 1978, some our citizens expect to be able to have all the roads done now. After the 1978 storm, it took over five days for the State and Municipalities to return to normalcy. Highways remain closed for several days and schools remained closed for the entire week by the order of the Governor. We expect a return to normalcy by Tuesday or maybe even Monday. We believe that this is more than reasonable considering the magnitude of the storm. That is not to say that there still won’t be some sidewalks to do, parking lots to finish and roads that might need some additional work.
2:15pm: We currently have six heavy duty pay loaders assisting our crews. This doubles the number of heavy equipment crews we had at the 12:00pm update. We are making good progress but there are close to 80 miles of road in our town that need to be cleared. We will not have every road opened up by tonight. Crews will be sent home to rest at 7:00pm. Crews and private contractors will be returning to work Sunday morning and continuing the process of opening roads up. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
12pm: We continue to work on making roads passable. Most of the main roads are passable at this time but they are very slippery. We are attempting to open up side roads at this time but some of these roads have in excess of 6 feet of snow on them and can only be opened with heavy equipment.
We have also prioritized the roads in order to get CL&P to downed wires to restore power that has been out since late yesterday afternoon.
Crews will be sent home at 5:00pm this evening after having worked from 7:00am yesterday. Crews will return to work at 6:00am tomorrow morning.
Not all roads will be accessible and cul-de-sacs will not be cleared until sometime late tomorrow or Monday. We have several private contractors that are coming on board as they are able to get to their equipment. These contractors will also be working with crews tomorrow.
We currently have three heavy pay loaders working on the problem roads and hope to have three more by 1:00pm today. Contractors will be retained until all work is complete.
The goal is to have all roads accessible by tomorrow evening and have municipal lots open so Town business can resume Monday morning. Sidewalks may not be done until Monday or Tuesday. The work of clearing sidewalks will not start until all roads are cleared, in service and safe.
This storm has deposited more snow than the Blizzard of 1978. We are working as quickly as we can but we also must do this in a safe manner.
Please be patient, we understand your frustration but again we ask that you please stay off the roads unless it is absolutely necessary for you to go somewhere.