State ready for another blast of snow - WNEM TV 5

State ready for another blast of snow

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Cities and towns are preparing for another storm this weekend after a few feet of snow hit the state following Blizzard Charlotte.

Snow projected for the weekend

Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest said the weekend storm "is now looking less intimidating" and "spotty light snow or rain" as well as some light freezing drizzle are expected for Friday night and Saturday morning. 

"Precipitation will become steadier Saturday afternoon and it will come in the form of snow, sleet, and rain. There should be a light slushy accumulation by evening," DePrest said. "The wintry mix will change back to all snow later Saturday night and early Sunday morning."

The snow is expected to end by Sunday afternoon and accumulations could be between 2 to 5 inches over interior portions of the state with only an inch or two projected for the coast.

Waterbury is ready for another blast of winter

After getting hit with 32 inches from Blizzard Charlotte, officials in Waterbury told Eyewitness News that they are prepared for this weekend's possible storm.

City and Connecticut Department of Transportation crews were making final cleanups while city trucks continued to clear out snow.

Unfortunately for snow-weary Waterbury, more is on the way.

"It's insult to injury," said Andy Mendoza, who works at New Era Barbershop on West Main Street. "I try to get to work on time and I've got to dodge snow banks, snow mountains. I saw someone try to build an igloo, there was so much snow."

For the past two weeks, Waterbury crews have been widening roads and carting snow to this lot next to Municipal Stadium. Now, they're ready for Round 2.

"Wouldn't mind if it missed us," said Joe Geary, chief of staff for Mayor Neil O'Leary. "But if it comes this way, we're prepared."

Geary said the city will have about 45 pieces of equipment on the road for the storm and could double that if they need to bring in their private contractors.

"You're anxious, but when they say more snow, anything after last week will seem like a walk in the park," Geary said.

Residents in Hartford have had enough snow

In Hartford, 27 inches of snow fell on the city and caused officials to tow hundreds of cars.

"No! I don't want it," said Hartford resident Willie James about the storm coming.

Mayor Pedro Segarra said he will be opening the Emergency Operations Center if 8 inches or more drop from this weekend's storm.

City officials said they never sent anyone home and have had at least 10 trucks on the road since Friday afternoon. 

"We didn't have an army in the streets, but we also didn't send people home," LaLuz Maribel La Luz, who is the director of communications for Hartford, said.

Hartford leaders told Eyewitness News they think their entire snow budget may have been exhausted in the last storm. 

On Friday, crews were clearing problem areas in Hartford and are expected to continue working through the weekend.

Bridgeport officials will be watching the storm cleanup efforts

While in Bridgeport, Mayor Bill Finch started the city's preparations by holding a meeting with emergency officials on Thursday and Friday and the Emergency Operations Center will be monitoring the forecast.

"The past storm we have our lessons learned and that's what makes us better and we're going to be better," said Bridgeport Emergency Management Director Scott T. Appleby.

After a record 30 inches of snow was dropped by Blizzard Charlotte on the city, a Facebook page titled Tell Mayor Finch to resign was created to hold someone accountable for the cleanup. The page had 133 likes as of 5 p.m.

"The sidewalks suck completely. Busted my behind over there," said one Bridgeport resident. "I think they should be doing a lot more than they are."

However, only a small amount of snow and wintry mix is expected for the shoreline.

"This is good news but we can't take anything for granted," Finch said. "I know workers have been out clearing snow from catch basins so this rain and melting snow will have someplace to go."

If the storm changes back to more snow than rain, city officials said they are going to better communicate for the residents to move their cars so plows won't have issues like they did two weeks ago.

The city is even looking at putting alternate side parking in year-round to regularly keep roads open.

"If there are items that we could do better at, we're going to get better at it," Appleby said.

Crews from the Water Pollution Control Authority will also be clearing catch basins in the city of Bridgeport because the city is expecting some potential flooding conditions with this next storm.

Winter doing a number on Windsor's town budget

Windsor town officials are trying to find ways to pay for the snow cleanup after Blizzard Charlotte delivered a financial hit.

Town Manger Peter Souza said he estimated the cost of the cleanup after the blizzard was $130,000 to cover the cost of public works and police overtime. That money accounts for 75 percent of the town's allocated storm control budget.

"We do have funds set aside, so if we do go over the $400,000 the town council would be able to appropriate funds from reserves," said Souza, who is hoping for reimbursement from Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Windsor is eligible for partial federal reimbursement through FEMA, which could be up to 75 percent of snow totals for a 48-hour time frame of snow removal/cleanup efforts.

Public works crews cleaned problem spots, filled the salt shed and readied their equipment.

"They're going to have to do what have to do what they have to do. The money gotta come from somewhere," said John Cahill. "The snow has to get cleaned up because it's just going to create a public safety issue. It could be a liability otherwise, pay now or pay later."

Keep with Channel 3 Eyewitness News and for the latest weather information.

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