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Closings All Over; Trains Running Hourly

The National Weather Service says this storm is very dangerous to drive through. Darien schools and Town Hall are closed.

Darien Town Hall just after snowfall earlier this winter.
Darien Town Hall just after snowfall earlier this winter.
Update 2:54 p.m.:

The Department of Motor Vehicles issued the following news release at 2:25 p.m. (boldface added):

"Department of Motor Vehicles' road tests for Thursday are postponed until 11 a.m. DMV offices will open Thursday at 9:15 a.m., which is the regularly scheduled time.

"Anyone with a road test or knowledge test appointment for Wednesday or a road test appointment prior to 11 a.m. Thursday can call DMV Thursday morning to choose a new date. The numbers to call are 860-263-5700 if someone is within the Hartford area and toll-free 800-842-8222 for those outside the Hartford area.

"Drivers of commercial and passenger vehicles are reminded about the requirement to remove snow and ice from hoods, trunks and roofs or face fines ranging from $75 to $1,250.

"Operators of commercial vehicles and passenger cars and trucks who drive a vehicle with accumulated snow and ice can be fined $75. However, the law calls for stiffer penalties when there’s personal or property damage from the flying elements.

In those instances the driver of a commercial vehicle faces a fine up to $1,250 and a passenger car or small truck driver can be fined up to $1,000.

"Drivers are exempt from the fines when the snow, sleet and freezing rain begins or continues while the vehicle is traveling. Parked vehicles are also exempt from the required removal of ice and snow."

Update 2:29 p.m.:

Joy Ride Cycling Studio is holding its 6:30 p.m. class with Megan Boyle.

Update 2:19 p.m.:

Metro-North has trains running hourly on the New Haven Line, the MTA has announced:

"New Haven Line trains will operate on an hourly schedule due to significant weather-related problems with the overhead catenary wire beginning at 12 Noon. [...]

Use our interactive schedules page at http://tinyurl.com/6akjw for train times, or see a printed timetable. Please continue to listen to announcements at your station and on board trains for any service changes.

"Be sure to continue to check this web site and listen to the media for updates. Also take care when traveling during inclement weather and allow for additional travel time. Customers should use caution when entering and exiting trains, and on platforms and staircases."

Update 2:15 p.m.:

Espresso NEAT opened at around 1:30 p.m., the business tweeted.

Update 2:01 p.m.:

Venture Yoga tweets (at 1:13 p.m.): "Tonight's class at 6:30 p.m. with Kendra is ON!!!! Reserve online NOW! :)"

Update 1:27 p.m.:

Darien Arts Center and all its classes are closed today, the DAC said in an emailed announcement.

Update 1:24 p.m.:

Here's a news release from Gov. Dannel Malloy's office saying most state workers are to stay home the rest of the day:

"Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has ordered all second-shift state employees who are designated as non-essential to stay home on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in response to winter storm conditions across the state.  State employees are encouraged to contact their supervisors for further guidance.

“'After consulting with my emergency management team, I’ve decided to order all second-shift non-essential state employees to not report to work today,' said Governor Malloy. 'Considering the precarious driving conditions across the state, I want to urge all residents to be safe, avoid travel and stay home until the roads have been cleared.'”

"Later today at 5:02 p.m., Governor Malloy will hold a news briefing at the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Hartford to provide updates on the winter storm.

Update 10:28 a.m.:

All Connecticut Light & Power customers in Stamford are now back online, according to the CL&P Outage Map. A total of 208 Greenwich customers are still waiting to get power back. Waterford (near New London) has 281 customers without power. Elsewhere in the state: A few customers here and there are without power.

Update 10:17 a.m.:

Darien Doughnut is open, the business tweets.

Update 10:10 a.m.:

The outage threat slowly looms closer to Darien: 180 customers now without power in Stamford; 207 in Greenwich (down from 300 earlier in the morning), accoding to the Connecticut Light & Power online outage map. In the rest of CL&P's coverage area: Two other customers without power. So far, no reports of outages in Darien. All this is as of 10 a.m.

Update 9:59 a.m.:

Here's the latest (as of 8:56 a.m.) Darien-specific National Weather Service forecast:
  • Wednesday: Freezing rain and sleet. High near 33. Northeast wind 9 to 15 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime ice accumulation of 0.2 to 0.4 of an inch possible. Total daytime sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
  • Wednesday night: A chance of freezing drizzle before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. North wind 9 to 13 mph.
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 27. North wind 7 to 9 mph.
  • Thursday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 14. Northwest wind around 6 mph.

Update 9:46 a.m.:

"New Haven Line Customers should anticipate system-wide delays of 45-60 minutes due to power problems caused by severe weather conditions," Metro-North tweets (9:43 a.m.)


Update 9:13 a.m.:

Have the outages begun in Connecticut? There are 300 customers without electric power in Greenwich, according to the Connecticut Light & Power online outage map. Still only 17 in Stamford (unchanged for some time), and only one all the way up in Wolcott (near Waterbury). That's it for CL&P's entire coverage area.

Update 8:54 a.m.:

Palmer's Market in Noroton Heights tweets (8:48 a.m.)  "We're open. We recommend not to venture out 'til later. Roads are icy!"

Update 8:50 a.m.:

"New Canaan [Line railroad] Service resumes with the 7:57 a.m. train departing New Canaan -- This train is operating approximately 60 minutes late due to severe weather conditions," Metro-North tweets (8:45 a.m.; quote translated into regular English by Patch)

Update 8:46 a.m.:

The National Weather Service has sniffed that it is above naming mere common winter storms. Therefore we have naming chaos, with this storm called both "Derby" by some and "Nika" by others (including The Weather Channel).

And so we repeat the 19th century practice of not standardizing something common to all. In this case, it's news about an ongoing storm -- a distraction amid official statements urging us all to be careful amid the danger.

Back in the 19th century, before railroads, time zones were not common, and in the early part of the century there were even different banknotes across the country.

Update 8:37 a.m.:

Whole Foods Market in Darien is open, the store tweets (8:35 a.m.)

Update 8:32 a.m.:

Infinity Gym tweets (8:31 a.m.): "Winter storm Derby has the roads a mess and as a result we are going to CANCEL ALL of our Team Sessions today." Cancellations are in both Darien and New Canaan.

Update 8:30 a.m.:

"New Canaan Branch Service is currently suspended due to power problems near Talmadge Hill caused by severe weather conditions," Metro-North tweets (8:25 a.m.).

Update 8:27 a.m.:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has closed Interstate 84 in New York state to all traffic, according to a Hartford Courant reporter.

Update 8:25 a.m.:

Here's the (entire) news release the Governor's Office emailed at 7:50 a.m. regarding the storm and Connecticut:

"Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has ordered all first-shift non-essential state employees to stay home on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in response to winter storm conditions across the state. The impact on second-shift employees will be evaluated later in the day. State employees are encouraged to contact their supervisors for further guidance.

“'After having consulted with state agency officials and our weather forecasters, I am ordering all first-shift non-essential state employees to stay home today. I don't like the term non-essential because I think everyone does important work, but with poor road conditions I don't want to put anyone in harms way. I would also encourage private employers to follow the state’s lead.

“'With heavy snow falling across the state and a mix of sleet and freezing rain on the way, I am asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel. In addition, I have instituted a soft ban on tandem trucks on our interstate highways.

“'The bottom line is if you can stay home or work from home, please do.'”

Update 8:17 a.m.:

Town Hall is closed today, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson announced in an 8:11 a.m. email. The town website has also announced the change. This changes an announcement from last night that Town Hall would open late, at 10 a.m., although that announcement mentioned that the decision to open would be reassessed this morning.

Update 8:14 a.m.:

"New Haven Line W/B trains will not stop btwn Old Greenwich & Cos Cob -- Custs travel E/B to Stamford then transfer to W/B service for access," Metro-North tweets (8:02 a.m.).

Update 8:10 a.m.:

Gov. Dannel Malloy, in a brief news conference just after 8 a.m., announced that tandem trucks are banned from Connecticut highways until further notice, in cooperation with neighboring states.

He said first-shift nonessential state employees have been told to stay home today, and he urged private employers to tell their nonessential employees to stay home due to the hazardous road conditions.

Correction:
The original version of the 8:10 a.m. post said the governor told all nonessential state employees to stay home. At this point, he has only told first-shift nonessential state employees to stay home.

Update 8:08 p.m.:

The YWCA of Darien/Norwalk is closed today, the organization announced in a tweet.

Update 7:59 a.m.:

Gov. Dannel Malloy has a news conference about the storm scheduled at 8 a.m. Darien Patch will tweet what he says, then report back at this space.

Update 7:57 a.m.:

The Connecticut Judicial Branch tweets: "All state courts and Judicial Branch administrative offices will be closed today, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014."

Update 7:52 a.m.:

If you lose power, one option is to head for either of the Darien rest stops on Interstate 95, where they have generators to provide full capacity power, a large dining area, gift shop and various food counters.

Update 7:49 a.m.:

Metro-North just tweeted (7:41 a.m.): "New Haven Line Customers should anticipate system-wide delays of up to 30 minutes due to power problems caused by severe weather conditions."

Update 7:44 a.m.:

The New Canaan YMCA is closed until noon, and youth programs have been cancelled for the day. Here's the announcement, from the Y's Facebook page:

"Please see the below status update for Wednesday, February 5 due to the inclement weather:

  • The Y will have a later delayed opening of 12:00 PM. Please call or check the website before stopping by in the event of a needed later delayed opening.
  • Youth classes are cancelled for the day.
  • Group Exercise classes are cancelled for the day.
  • My Playroom is closed for the day
"Please be sure to call the Y at 203-966-4528 for an updated facility status before stopping by today."

Update 7:32 a.m.:

Venture Yoga morning and lunch classes are cancelled for today. A decision about cancelling this evening's class will be made by 4 p.m.

Update 7:28 a.m.:

Channel 3, WFSB-TV, reports that at his 8 a.m. news briefing, Gov. Dannel Malloy will ask that all nonessential state employees stay home today.

Update 7:25 a.m.:

All today's classes at Joyride in Darien (and Westport) have been cancelled.

Update 7:22 a.m.:

The CL&P online outage map currently shows 18 customers without power in their entire service area (most of the state). Seventeen of those customers are in Stamford.

Update 7:21 a.m.:

The Maritime Aquarium is closed today.

Update 7:19 a.m.:

Sacred Heart University classes and offices are closed today (but "essential personnel are to report as usual"). That's a change. As of 5:32 a.m., the university was going to open at 10 a.m.

Update 7:15 a.m.:

The 4 p.m. meeting of the Darien Police Commission has been cancelled, according to the town website.

Update 6:59 a.m.:

"Westchester County Airport is open. Visit http://bit.ly/1akHsCT  to check flight status." (6:50 a.m. tweet from Westchester County government).

Update 6:52 a.m.:

There are reports of power outages in Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey (over 10,000 in each state). In Connecticut Light & Power's service area, there are a total of 109 customers without power as of now, according to the online CL&P Outage Map.

Update 6:46 a.m.:

Connecticut state offices will have a delayed opening at 10 a.m. due to the weather, Gov. Dannel Malloy has announced.

Update 6:42 a.m.:

Darien Police tweet (at 6:27 a.m.):"Road conditions are extremely treacherous. Non-essential travel is ill-advised."

Update 6:35 a.m.:


What's the difference between sleet and freezing rain? The Weather Channel says that, for one thing, sleet bounces:

Sleet is frozen precipitation that falls as ice pellets that you may see bouncing off your windshield, roof or the ground. [...] Freezing rain on the other hand, falls just like normal rain only it freezes on contact with roads, trees, power lines and other structures since temperatures are 32 degrees or below at the surface. Even light accumulations may cause dangerous travel, while heavier amounts can be damaging."

Update 6:24 a.m.:

New York 1 cable news channel reports freezing rain falling throughout the city.

Update 6:19 a.m.:

The Darien Community Association is closed for the day.

Update 6:15 a.m.:

Norwalk Transit District issued this announcement at 6:12 a.m. about bus service:

"Westport and Norwalk Commuter Shuttles will be suspended until 7:00 am. Once local roads have been plowed and conditions improve, service will be restored.

"WHEELS service in Norwalk will begin service on time, however, buses may be detoured where roads remain impassable. Passengers should call to verify individual route detours.

"Coastal Link service has been suspended until 8:00 am. 7 Link service is being provided.

"We understand your travel needs, however your safety is most important to us. We will resume full service when we believe conditions permit. Thank you for your patience."

Update 6:12 a.m.:

CT Transit bus service, which runs buses in Stamford and Darien, issued this statement at 5:53 a.m. that it will delay the start of service until at least 7 a.m. (boldface added):

"Important update: after encountering adverse operating conditions on the roadways, the determination has been made to delay the commencement of ALL CTTRANSIT bus service (Local and Express) until at least 7 a.m. this morning (Feb. 5). At 7 a.m. conditions for safe operation will be reassessed and updates will be announced."

Update 6:07 p.m.:

Metro-North issued this statement at 6:02 a.m. about railroad service:

"Metro-North is operating a regular schedule with train combinations for the AM peak due to the projected impact of winter storm Nika. These changes will enable us to provide the best service possible while ensuring your safety. See details at http://tinyurl.com/n2dkpw5 .

"Delays and additional train combinations may occur, depending upon the severity of the storm and its impact on our service territory. Use our interactive schedules page at http://tinyurl.com/6akjw for details on train times."

Update 6:05 a.m.:

Metro-North is operating on a reduced schedule. For a description, see Darien Patch's article. For the latest service delays, see this Web page. Here is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's statement on service conditions (as of 6:01 a.m.; boldface added):

"The MTA Regional Transportation Network is operating near normal service this morning, as crews continue working to keep platforms, staircases clear of snow and ice and bus service on the road. Snow fighting equipment has been deployed to keep rails free of snow and to prevent ice buildup.

"MTA Metro-North Railroad is operating a reduced schedule today, with several combined trains. 

"Customers should monitor Service Status on this page for the latest information."

Update 6 a.m.:

Darien Library hates to close (especially since it's got that new electricity generator to help provide shelter to people when they go without power), but it's closing today. Here's the announcement:

"
Due to the impending storm, Darien Library will be closed. However, you can still access books, movies, TV shows, music, magazines, and audiobooks from home! 

eBooks & Audiobooks

Movies & TV & Music

eMagazines


Update 5:52 a.m.:

The Darien YMCA is delaying its opening and has issued the following statement on it's website:

"
Due to the wintery mix of snow & frozen rain forecasted for the early morning of Wednesday, February 5th, the Darien YMCA will delay normal morning opening at 5 a.m. and will open its doors at 9 a.m.  YMCA facilities and all adult programs/classes  will resume at 9 a.m. as regularly scheduled. [...]

"In the event the Darien Public Schools are closed for the entire day [and they are], HPNS [Holly Pond Nursery School] will also be closed, and all other Y youth classes will be cancelled until 12:00 p.m. [noon]

"For the most current information, please contact the Y by phone (203) 655-8228 or watch for updates here [the top of the Darien Y Home page]."


Update 5:48 a.m.:

Gov. Dannel Malloy will hold a news briefing about the storm at 8 a.m. from the state Emergency Operations Center in Hartford, the Governor's Office has announced.

Update 5:40 a.m., Wednesday:

The National Weather Service's "Winter Storm Warning" remains in effect until 6 p.m., and the weather service also has issued this "Special Statement" about the storm (issued or updated at 5:16 a.m.; it largely repeats what's in the "Warning"):

"Moderate to heavy snow will gradually mix and change to sleet and freezing rain this morning. [...] Snow at times will fall at 1 to 2 inches per hour.

"Visibilities will be lowered below half a mile at times. This will make for very slippery and dangerous travel conditions. Please proceed with extreme caution if going outdoors into early this morning."

Here's the Darien-specific forecast from the weather service (last updated at 4:56 a.m.):

  • Wednesday: Snow, freezing rain, and sleet before 9am, then freezing rain and sleet. High near 33. Northeast wind 9 to 15 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime ice accumulation of 0.1 to 0.3 of an inch possible. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
  • Wednesday night: A chance of freezing drizzle before 9pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. North wind 9 to 13 mph.
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 27. North wind 7 to 9 mph.

Update 11:34 p.m., Tuesday:


Darien Public Schools are closed on Wednesday, the school district website announced late Tuesday evening.

Original article, 6:03 p.m., Tuesday:

Darien Town Hall will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday (if it doesn't close, instead) as a messy, possibly rainy, snowy, icy storm looms in the forecast and the National Weather Service declares a "Winter Storm Warning" from midnight through 6 p.m.

"Heavy snow, along with sleet and freezing rain" will hit wide swaths of the New York metropolitan area, according to the Winter Storm Warning (as of the 4:06 p.m. update).

"Travel will be extremely dangerous due to significant snow and ice accumulations. The combination of snow and ice accumulations will knock down tree limbs and power lines," the weather service states in the storm warning.

The sleet and freezing rain are expected late Wednesday morning, with snow before that. Visibility may be reduced to as little as a quarter mile, the weather service said.

The weather service also stated in the storm warning: "Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency."

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson announced Tuesday afternoon that Town Hall will open late, at 10 a.m., Wednesday:

"Town Hall will have a 10 a.m. delayed opening tomorrow, Wednesday, due to the expected storm. I will be assessing the road conditions in the early a.m. and will advise if the delay becomes a closure. A message will also be posted on the home page of the town web site."

Here's the weather service's Darien-specific forecast (as of its 4:56 p.m. update) through Thursday evening:

  • Tuesday night: Snow, mainly after midnight. Low around 28. Calm wind becoming northeast 5 to 8 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. Total nighttime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
  • Wednesday: Snow, freezing rain, and sleet before noon, then freezing rain likely between noon and 3pm, then a chance of rain or freezing rain after 3pm. High near 34. Northeast wind 10 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New ice accumulation of 0.2 to 0.4 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
  • Wednesday night: A chance of snow and sleet before 9pm, then a slight chance of snow between 9pm and midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. North wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 29. Northwest wind around 9 mph.
  • Thursday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 17. Northwest wind around 7 mph.


































Joe Pankowski February 05, 2014 at 07:35 AM
Thanks for the updates, David.

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