Fairfield residents asked to stay off roads

Coastal flooding a concern during storm; activities canceled

Fairfield residents are being asked to keep vehicles off roads as the region prepares for the first winter storm of the year.

Forecasts are rapidly changing, with a wide range of snowfall totals predicted for Fairfield and surrounding areas. Estimates range for 4 inches to a foot throughout the region. Coastal flooding is also a concern.

A message posted by Fairfield’s Emergency Management Team said keeping vehicles off the streets would keep the public safe and  allow Public Works crews to clear streets and emergency vehicles and utility crews to gain access to their destinations more easily.

Power outages are anticipated due to the impending winds associated with this storm, according to First Selectman Michael Tetreau. Residents who find themselves without power can contact the United Illuminating Company at 1-800-722-5584 or visit UI’s website at uinet.com.

There are two high tides that can affect beach area residents. The first is at 10:28 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, and the second is at 10:57 Saturday night. There are indications that the second high tide could be worse and have a greater impact than the first high tide. Beach area residents are urged to move their vehicles to higher ground and secure loose outdoor items. There is parking available at Veterans Park on Reef Road, as well as at the commuter lot on Mill Plain Road, across from the Parks and Recreation Department, 75 Mill Plain Road. Residents are asked to not park at the railroad stations as it will impede snowplowing efforts.

Should you lose heat or power, please use alternative heating and generators safely. If you do lose power, consider staying with family and friends or at a hotel, follow manufacturers’ instructions for all heating and power equipment, keep portable heaters three feet from combustible materials, never leave space heaters unattended, keep furnace and dryer exhausts clear of snow, never use a portable generator inside an occupied space or near air intakes, and check that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Also, keep a first aid kit on hand as well as food, water and necessary medications.

Fairfield’s Emergency Management Team reminds property owners, both residential and business, to remove snow and ice from sidewalks along their property line within 24 hours after a storm and to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice. Heavily used sidewalks near schools and public buildings, and in commercial areas are particularly important.

Per Town ordinance, property owners who do not clear their sidewalks may be ticketed by police and invoiced by the Town if the Town clears the sidewalk on the property owner’s behalf. The Town will be enforcing this ordinance. The property owner, not the Town, is liable if sidewalks are not cleared and someone is hurt.

Town officials reminded residents to shovel around fire hydrants and to avoid overexertion when shoveling.

Fairfield officials will post storm information and updates at 203-254-4899 or fairfieldct.org/storm.

Residents and businesses may sign up for CodeRED Alerts by visiting the Town’s website at fairfieldct.org/codered to begin receiving messages from the Town.

Friday, 2:19 p.m. — Residents of coastal Fairfield are being warned that flooding is possible during high tides with a winter storm approaching this weekend.

A coastal flood watch has been issued for the area by the National Weather Service, which has also issued a winter storm watch for the area. A watch means conditions are right for a storm. The watch is in effect from 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, to 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 24.

General snow accumulations of 2 to 8 inches, accompanied by winds of 15 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph, are expected.

Temperatures will be in the mid 20s, with visibility of a half-mile or less at times.

The wind, coupled with astronomical high tides, could cause flooding along the coast. Fairfield emergency officials recommended Friday that residents in areas prone to flooding move vehicles to higher ground. Parking is available at Veterans Park, 909 Reef Road, as well as the Fairprene lot on Mill Plain Road, across from the Parks and Recreation facility.

There are two high tides, 10:28 am and 10:57 pm. There are indications that the second high tide could be worse and have a greater impact than the first, according to a Code RED message from Fairfield officials.

Fairfield Public Schools have canceled all activities scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, and buildings will be closed both days. SAT exams scheduled in Stamford and Wilton have been postponed.

The forecast calls for snow, mainly after 9 a.m. The high will be near 28, but the wind chill will make it feel like 10 to 15 degrees. Winds will be from the northeast at 17 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 33. Two to four inches of snow is expected Saturday.

Saturday night, the low will dip to around 21. With a north wind of 16 to 18 mph, it will feel like 10 to 15 degrees. Gusts could reach 32 mph. An additional two to four inches of snow is possible.

Snow is still possible Sunday morning, mainly before 7. Then, it will be mostly cloudy, gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 33. Winds will diminish to 9 to 13 mph. Sunday night will be mostly clear with a low around 21.

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