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Storm prompts Conn. school and government closings

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 5, 2014 at 8:56 am •  Published: February 5, 2014
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A storm slammed Connecticut with snow, sleet and freezing rain on Wednesday, causing school and government agency closings, dozens of flight cancellations at Bradley International Airport and Metro-North rail service reductions.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered all non-essential, first-shift state employees to stay home and urged private employers to do the same with their dayside workers. The governor also urged all tandem truck drivers to stay off state highways, saying he issued a "soft ban" on the double trailer vehicles.

"It is messy out there," Malloy said. "There's a very heavy snow. It's packed in places and local roads are in terrible shape. The bottom line is, if you can stay home or work from home, please do."

He said 632 state snow plows and 205 private contractor plows were clearing state roads.

State police responded to about 300 calls Wednesday morning. No fatal accidents were reported, but there was a serious injury in one crash, Malloy said. Seventy-seven National Guardsmen were on call if needed, he said.

Schools across the state were closed. The Judicial Branch closed all state courthouses and offices for the day. The state's bus service, CT Transit, temporarily suspended service in the Hartford area Wednesday morning and reduced service in other areas.

About half the flights were canceled at Bradley International Airport north of Hartford. Officials urged travelers to check with airlines before heading to the airport.

Metro-North canceled and combined some trains and told rail commuters to expect system-wide delays of up to 30 minutes because of power problems caused by the severe weather. The New Canaan Branch train was running an hour late.

The state's largest electricity distributor, Connecticut Light & Power, reported only 300 power outages Wednesday morning. United Illuminating, which serves the Bridgeport and New Haven areas, reported no outages.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the state until 6 p.m. Wednesday. It predicted 6 to 10 inches of snow and sleet in northwestern Connecticut, 5 to 9 inches in the Hartford area and 1 to 3 inches along the shoreline.

Malloy and state lawmakers delayed the start of the annual legislative session and the governor's state of the state address from Wednesday to Thursday.