The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles issued a news release today in part to remind state drivers that it's illegal to drive with snow falling from the top of your vehicle's hood, trunk or roof.
Here's the section of the news release that covers that topic:
With the impending storm predicted to bring several inches of snow, 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 5:37 p.m.:
The New Haven Line and other Metro-North lines will have schedule changes after 8 p.m., when the rush-hour commute is over, the Metropolitan Transportation authority has announced.
Here's most of the news release posted to the MTA website:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced today that its railroads – Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road – are changing service after the evening rush hour tonight as snow accumulations make operating trains difficult.
Reducing the number of trains is aimed at preventing trains from becoming stranded in accumulated snow, and to allow personnel to concentrate resources on trains that will continue to operate.
The LIRR will reduce service on a branch-by-branch basis after 8 p.m., consistent with its policy to curtail or suspend service if snow accumulations reach 10 to 13 inches.
The forecasted heavy snowfall and high winds will generate snow drifts that could force some trains to suspend service short of their final destinations after 11 p.m.
Customers who must travel should leave as early as possible and monitor www.mta.info for service status.
During rush hour, Metro-North is running a regular outbound evening rush hour schedule.
Metro-North personnel will be counting the number of passengers aboard all outbound trains; if trains get too crowded, Metro-North is adding trains as needed.
After 8 p.m., service will be reduced. Specifics for each Metro-North line’s schedule are below.
New Haven Line
After 8 p.m., 15 trains on the New Haven line, where the greatest snow accumulations are expected, will be combined or canceled.
Westbound Toward New York City
Five express trains from New Haven will be combined with five local trains from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.
- The 7:56 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 9:03 PM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.
- The 8:49 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 10:03 PM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.
- The 9:46 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 11:03 PM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.
- The 10:46 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 12:03 AM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.
- The 11:36 PM train from New Haven is combined with the 12:55 AM train from Stamford, making all local stops from New Haven to Grand Central Terminal.
Eastbound Departing Grand Central Terminal
Three express trains to New Haven will be combined with three local trains to Stamford, making all local stops from Grand Central to New Haven. Other eastbound trains will be canceled as indicated below.
- The 8:03 PM train to New Haven is combined with the 8:06 PM train to New Haven.
- The 8:32 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 8:06 PM or 9:07 PM train to New Haven.
- The 9:09 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 8:39 PM or 9:39 PM trains to Stamford.
- The 9:34 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 9:07 PM or 10:07 PM trains to New Haven. Customers connecting to stations on the Danbury and Waterbury branches should take the 10:07 PM train from Grand Central, which will have a connection for Danbury at South Norwalk, and a connection for Waterbury at Bridgeport.
- The 10:09 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 9:39 PM or 10:39 PM trains to Stamford.
- The 10:31 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 10:07 PM or 11:22 PM trains to New Haven.
- The 11:09 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 10:39 PM or 11:39 PM trains to Stamford.
- The 12:07 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 12:09 AM train to Stamford, which will depart at 12:09 AM and make all local stops to New Haven.
- The 1:07 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 1:09 AM train to Stamford, which will depart at 1:09 AM and make all local stops to New Haven.
- The 1:47 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 1:53 AM train to Stamford, which will depart at 1:53 AM and make all local stops to New Haven.
Update 5:24 p.m.:
The New Haven Line is currently experiencing delays of 10 to 15 minutes. "Please listen for announcements," Metro-North says in a 5:21 p.m. tweet.
Update 4:54 p.m.:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office issued the following news release earlier this afternoon:
With a significant winter storm bearing down on the state, Governor Dannel P. Malloy is urging residents to take it slow and avoid travel during the height of the storm Tuesday night. Governor Malloy has also directed the activation of the state’s Emergency Operations Center(EOC) at 3:00PM today to monitor conditions across the state and quickly coordinate any assistance that may be necessary.
In addition, the Governor has also directed the staggered release of nonessential first shift state employees between the times of 3:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. today because of winter weather.
"I am asking residents to take it slow as they head out for the afternoon commute and to avoid travel during the height of the storm tonight," said Governor Malloy. "If you do not need to be on the road tonight, please stay home as road conditions and visibility will be deteriorating rapidly. I’ve also asked all executive branch agencies to enact their early dismissal plans so that we are not bogged down during the usual evening rush, right when the snow is forecasted to pick up. Private sector companies may want to consider similar plans.”
“We are also taking steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter. I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and continue to encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.”
Yesterday, Governor Malloy activated the state’s severe cold weather protocol which directs the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and the Department of Housing (DOH) to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable people are protected from the severe cold weather."State emergency management officials continue to prepare for the potential impacts of this severe weather and continue to provide me with regular updates."
Original article 9:04 a.m.
Darien Public Schools are closing early today as a snowstorm with blustery winds and plenty of the white stuff nears the area.
Dress appropriately for windy, cold weather, the National Weather Service advises, because frostbite is a danger in this weather.
As of 7:56 a.m., the weather service predicts as much as 2 to 4 inches during the day and another 4 to 8 inches at night in Darien. and the National Weather Service has issued a "Winter Storm Warning."
The Home page of Darien Public Schools has this statement across the top: "Due to the impending weather, all Darien Public Schools have early dismissal for Tuesday, Jan. 21."
The weather service's "Winter Storm Warning" states: "Snowfall will begin late Tuesday morning and will continue through tonight, tapering off early Wednesday morning. The heeaviest snowfall will occur late this afternoon into tonight."
"Impacts: Falling, blowing and drifting snow will cause hazardous travel and walking conditions across the area, possibly impacting the late afternoon and evening commute. Prolonged exposure to frigid cold and low wind chills could cause frostbite. Dress appropriately."
The warning is for an area including central and southern Connecticut, the lower Hudson Valley and northern New Jersey.
Here's the Darien-specific weather forecast from the weather service as of 7:56 a.m.:
- Tuesday Snow likely, mainly after noon. Cloudy, with a high near 22. North wind 9 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
- Tuesday night Snow with widespread blowing snow before 3 a.m., then widespread blowing snow and a chance of snow after 3 a.m. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 8. Wind chill values as low as -8. Blustery, with a north wind 18 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
- Wednesday A slight chance of snow before 9am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 17. Wind chill values as low as -10. Northwest wind around 18 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
- Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 5. Wind chill values as low as -7. Northwest wind 7 to 14 mph.
- Thursday Partly sunny, with a high near 23. West wind 7 to 11 mph.
- Thursday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 7.
- Friday Mostly sunny, with a high near 21.