As another winter storm barrels into the Elm City Monday morning, city officials are taking precautions against the possibility of significant damage.
Unlike last week’s all-snow Blizzard Juno, this storm is expected to bring a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, with the National Weather Service predicting four to nine inches of snow and up to half an inch of ice in New Haven. With the storm expected to arrive early Monday morning, New Haven has instituted a parking ban throughout the city starting at 1:00 a.m. on Monday. On a Sunday conference call with roughly 50 New Haven businesses, Deputy Economic Development Administrator Michael Piscitelli said that Connecticut Department of Transportation vehicles had already begun to salt roads in preparation for the storm.
Earlier forecasts for the storm had predicted an all-snow event, Piscitelli said, but those forecasts have since changed. The snow will likely be heavy, accumulating at two inches per hour on Monday morning. High winds, including 40 mile-per-hour gusts, may also be a danger.
“One of the key concerns for us with mixed precipitation is icing conditions, and we do anticipate some icing in the city starting tomorrow,” Piscitelli said.
With significant amounts of ice predicted, Piscitelli said that the city is particularly concerned about possible power outages. In mixed-precipitation storms, ice tends to coat tree branches, weighing them down and sometimes causing them to fall onto power lines.
Though the citywide parking ban will last until 6 p.m. Monday, Director of the Department of Transportation, Traffic and Parking Doug Hausladen ’04 said his staff will focus on ensuring that plows can cover posted snow routes unimpeded from 2 a.m. until 2 p.m. Hausladen said the city will enforce the parking ban strictly, tagging and towing illegally parked cars. Clearing the snow from downtown roads, he said, will be a priority.
Piscitelli said that the city has made other parking options available, as it has for previous storms. As part of the Super(SNOW)Bowl Special, the Temple Street Garage offered a discounted rate of $3 per hour starting Sunday night, and the Granite Square Garage is open free of charge. The city has also opened school parking lots in the neighborhoods to provide residents with another option.
Hausladen also said that the Super Bowl factored into the city’s planning. He said that late start for the parking ban will allow residents ample time to return home after bars close.
“It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and people are going to be out and about,” Mayor Toni Harp said during Sunday’s conference call. “Because of the variation of weather, we’re just asking people to be really careful and watch the weather as it progresses and make sure they do it safely.”
In a Sunday press release, City Hall announced that its Emergency Operations Center at 200 Orange St. would open starting at 5 a.m Monday and remain open throughout the storm. The state’s Emergency Operations Center will open at 4 a.m. Monday to monitor conditions.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has not yet issued a statewide travel ban, a move he took during last week’s storm. On Twitter Sunday afternoon, he urged state residents not to travel on Monday morning, the anticipated height of the storm. Piscitelli echoed that sentiment, saying that residents should travel minimally on Monday.
CT Transit and Metro-North Railroad have not yet announced any schedule changes in response to the storm.
Correction, Feb. 2: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the city’s parking ban is scheduled to end at 6 p.m. In fact, there is not yet any scheduled end time for the parking ban.