Report by Paula Antolini, December 22, 2022, 6:37PM EDT
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is activating the State of Connecticut Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in enhanced monitoring status beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, December 23, 2022, in response to the significant wind and rain storm that is anticipated to impact Connecticut over the next couple of days and then turn into ice as temperatures plummet this weekend.
During an enhanced monitoring status, the EOC is staffed with personnel from the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS). Additionally, officials from several state agencies, including the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Department of Public Health, Connecticut State Police, and the Connecticut National Guard, as well as the utilities, the Red Cross, and United Way 2-1-1 will be available on a virtual emergency operations center link to communicate instantly if needed.
“The latest forecast anticipates that Connecticut will receive a significant rain and wind storm beginning Thursday night and lasting through Saturday morning that has the potential to cause coastal flooding and a significant number of outages due to downed power lines,” Governor Lamont said. “Following the storm on Friday, temperatures are expected to plummet causing icy road conditions. We’ve been in regular contact with the utility companies, which have brought in hundreds out-of-state crews on this holiday weekend in anticipation of outages. Considering that temperatures will sharply drop on Friday night, I strongly urge everyone to make preparations in case you lose power as a result of the storm. Shelters are open across the state and anyone can call 2-1-1 to get connected to the nearest available location.”
State emergency management officials have completed a conference call with municipal leaders to discuss preparations for the storm and have been communicating regularly with each of the state’s utility companies, including Eversource, United Illuminating, and Avangrid.
Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella today issued an order waiving the truck ban on the Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway in order to allow utility trucks to utilize those roads if needed to provide faster response. That order will be in effect from 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, 2022, to 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 25, 2022.
Crews from the Connecticut Department of Transportation are on standby and are ready to activate any needed equipment for snow removal and pavement treatment to prevent icing. Crews and equipment are also prepared for activation in case debris needs to be removed from roadways, including tree crews, bucket trucks, chippers, and chainsaws. Roads cannot be pre-treated on Thursday evening and Friday morning because the forecasted rain will wash away any of the salt treatment. Crews will be standing by on Friday afternoon and evening for when the rain is expected to stop so they can provide treatment on the roads.
Governor Lamont has activated the state’s severe cold weather protocol beginning on the evening of Friday, December 23, 2022, and lasting through noon on Monday, December 26, 2022. Anyone in need of shelter can call 2-1-1 to get connected to their nearest available location.