Streams

Hardest Hit by Blizzard, Hamden Still Digging Out From Record Snow

Monday, February 11, 2013

Three days after the blizzard, quiet settled over snow-sacked neighborhoods in Connecticut. Light rain on Monday emptied residential streets that had been dotted with crowds of sledding children and optimistic driveway shovelers over the weekend.

"We have not seen a plow since about probably Friday night. Everyone has dug out their driveways, but I don't think there's anywhere to go because the streets are completely covered," David Chen said with laugh as he trudged through his Hamden neighborhood.

His street was still under three feet of snow, but he said it was encouraging to see neighbors band together with an incremental fix.

"The network of footpaths are actually pretty incredible. And that's part of the discovery, as we go out, we try to find new ways of getting to different places." 

In the hardest-hit communities like Hamden, where snow totals reached 40 inches, the blanket of snow remained too thick for conventional plows. That slowed the pace of clean-up, but at least on Monday, residents were reluctant to do much complaining given the scale of the storm. 

“The circumstances are above and beyond anybody's expectations. And there's just no way you could use town plows to open up the roads. It's just too much snow," resident Frank Shea said from inside his Hamden gas station, where he'd worked until two in the morning on Monday to clear his parking lot.

On Sunday, the Connecticut National Guard deployed to Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport to assist with snow removal. 

"We have large tractors, bucket loaders, but we only have ten of those in our inventory," said Connecticut National Guard spokesman Col. John Whitford. "We are contemplating reaching out for more. That's where we are right now." 

Yale University announced it would remain closed on Tuesday at the request of New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, and a campus-wide email urged non-essential staff to stay home and off the roads.

"The city is working full blast with 120 crews on the streets, but the task is monumental," the email said. "The mayor is hopeful that New Haven can resume most normal activity on Wednesday, but we will have to play it day by day."

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