After a brutal winter storm buried the Northeast in historic accumulations of snow as of Saturday morning, city and University emergency response teams are working around the clock to facilitate a return to normalcy.
The Elm City was blanketed in 34 inches of snow, causing the National Weather Service to issue a special weather statement for the region Saturday morning, warning of impassable and treacherous driving conditions and gusty winds producing hazardous snowdrifts.
In an email to the Yale community, University Vice President Linda Lorimer urged students to stay off the streets to aid cleanup efforts and announced adjustments to campus services: Dining halls will serve reduced meal service from 4 to 6 p.m. today, and the Yale shuttle service and Payne Whitney Gymnasium will be closed for today. Yale Health is open for emergencies and the infirmary only.
Lorimer reported no injuries or major campus damage due to the storm.
According to a City Hall release, the National Guard and New Haven officials are collaborating to clear roads, especially near hospitals and main streets, but residents should not expect cleanup efforts to be complete for at least a couple of days. Metro-North service between Stamford and New Haven was suspended Saturday until further notice according to its website, but a regular Sunday schedule will resume for Stamford trains bound for Grand Central Station.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy requested federal assistance Saturday to ensure the state’s quick recovery and public safety, and to meet demand for snow removal equipment. The Connecticut delegation also wrote a letter to President Barack Obama petitioning for an emergency declaration.
“We wholeheartedly support Governor Malloy’s emergency declaration request and will fight to ensure that Connecticut receives the federal aid it needs to respond and recover from this storm,” wrote Connecticut delegation in the release.
In the release, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said residents should only call 911 in emergency situations. He urged residents to clear snow from exterior vents on their homes to prevent carbon monoxide buildup and added that the parking bans instated Friday will remain in effect until further notice.
Malloy issued a travel ban across the state that was lifted at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“As a result of life threatening conditions on roads across Connecticut, all vehicular traffic on all roads in the State is prohibited until further notice,” Malloy wrote in a Friday statement. “This prohibition extends to all vehicles except for those emergency response and recovery vehicles with the capacity to maneuver in heavy snow.”
DeStefano also requested in the release that residents clear snow from fire hydrants, check on neighbors and shovel sidewalks near their homes.