Malloy: Travel ban to remain in effect

The travel ban put in place throughout Connecticut after the impact of the blizzard’s heavy snowfall will likely remain in place throughout Saturday, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Malloy briefed the press Saturday morning and called the storm “record breaking” while noting that some parts of Connecticut received as much as 38 inches of snow on the ground. Because of that, the governor is continuing to urge people to stay in their homes and off the roads so plows and work crews can clear them and emergency vehicles can get through.

Malloy said there have been problems with cars stuck on the roads, stranding drivers and the state does not want to see that added to. Malloy ordered the travel ban Saturday morning, saying it’s “essential that travel be limited to emergency personnel.” He added that this will help work in clearing the roads be accomplished much more rapidly and “get back to normal much more rapidly then if the roads are clogged with traffic.” He admitted that cleanup is expected to take days to complete.

“I would expect we would keep the travel ban in place through today,” Malloy said Saturday morning. “Again, the purpose is to encourage people to stay home and stay off the roads.”

Despite the snow stopping, the blizzard warning remains in place throughout the state. Fairfield remains in a state of snow emergency as well and cars parked in “snow emergency” zones must be moved for they are subject to ticketing and immediate towing.

“Right now our main priority is to clear roads,” Malloy said. “We have crews throughout the state working on state roads. Municipal governments are working on municipal roads as well.”

Malloy said he had been in contact with municipal leaders on Saturday morning and said state assistance would be available as soon as possible to individual communities. Work has to be completed on state roads first, though. Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei is expected to have an update today on conditions in town and Mr. Malloy will have another briefing at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

According to Malloy, the state police have responded to approximately 1,600 calls within the last 24 hours. There are 270 National Guard members on duty right now with “a few hundred more” coming into armories around the state. Malloy said they would be assigned tasks for both the state and municipal governments in Connecticut. At the press briefing he said he has signed an executive order allowing for non-essential calls for ambulances to be handled at the discretion of the local agencies.

“If it’s not an essential call and the area can’t be reached, then they can put that off,” Malloy said. “On the other hand, with respect to other calls they can use 4×4 vehicles to respond when they know ambulances can’t respond.”

Malloy said as of 11 a.m. on Saturday, there were 39,000 customers without power mostly in the Southeastern part of the state. Malloy urged residents to clear off areas where snow is blocking fire hydrants in front of their homes and for their individual homes make sure and clear off vents to avoid any potential backup of dangerous CO into the house. He also reminded residents throughout the state that if they are using generators they have to be ventilated outside of the home and not in garages to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. 

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