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Blizzard 2013: The Good, The Bad, And The Buried

by The Valley Indy | Feb 12, 2013 8:04 pm

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Posted to: Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton

SKILLZThe public’s mood seemed to be more upbeat Tuesday, as efforts continued to dig them out from the Blizzard of 2013.

Mother Nature helped, melting away about five or so inches of snow. For proof, check out this photo posted by part-time Shelton Conservation Agent Teresa Gallagher.

The story blew contains messages from readers, followed by forecast, followed by an update on snow removal.

THE GOOD

The following comments were shared on the Valley Independent Sentinel’s Facebook wall.

Linda Montepara Armistead:

“In a world that has become increasingly disconnected, it’s wonderful that during times of crisis we can come together.

My parents are in their 70’s and live with my 94 year-old grandmother in Ansonia. Their furnace shut off due to snow blocking the vent pipe on the roof.

Their neighbors came together and not only cleared their driveway, but climbed the roof to clear the snow!

Thank you to them and everyone else who has done something to help their neighbor during this storm.”

Lisa Shamansky

“I live in Ansonia, my landlord is 88 years old and had a cornea transplant just before the storm. I had a double fusion to the cervical spine so I can not shovel. She only has $40.00 which is her grocery money to pay someone. Is there anyone willing to clear half a driveway and side walks around the house so we can get out, we both need prescriptions and my son who is stuck in Derby needs to get back to college…”

And, later: “My friend Stephanie Marciniak Hopwood is helping my son get here shortly. Hopefully he can shovel all this. No snow blower here . . . Thank you everyone. I got the help needed. Thank you again. This page is the best.”

Tracy L. Jones

“I know you are a news outlet, and that there is so much complaining going on but, well gotta tell you the crew that came thru our neighborhood off Colony Road in Ansonia at about 7:50pm last night from New York were AWESOME….AWESOME….AWESOME.

That backhoe driver had a smile a mile long, he went by several times, even backing back down the road and made it wider as the neighborhood banned together yesterday with three snow blowers and shovels and cleared the road one way.

He stopped to ask if I was happy with what he had done, I told him except for covering the storm drain, yes. I was. He laughed but hell we had three feet of snow and blizzard and he wasn’t from around here, how was he suppose to know?

Just wanted to let all the people still stuck in your home, driveway, or even street there is a light at the end of the tunnel and even in your frustration make sure you say thank you it goes a long way.”

Pine Rock Park Community

In the Pine Rock Park section of Shelton, CT neighbors came together and dug out our forgotten area. with help from Mike Majewski and his machinery!

(Here’s the photo the group posted on the Valley Indy Facebook page:)

Pinerock Park Community

Janet Fichura Santerre

“To all who live in the Valley . . . I know that we are all anxious to be out and about, and are all waiting for our roads to be plowed (some more patiently than others). Just thought I’d try to put it in different light for all.

The average snowfall in Woodbury, CT (the closest I could find) is 43.3 inches. This is for the WHOLE winter. We have gotten this much in ONE STORM.

Our public works crews, fire, EMS and Police have been working round the clock, without regard for themselves, leaving their families at home, to help US.

Please try and understand that this is an extraordinary situation and that they are doing the best that they can.

Patience please.”

Kathy Moran

“A city plow came down my street and spread some sand but didn’t plow. There was a reason for this . . . ten minutes later, a HUGE payloader began the long process of scooping up the heavy snow and placing it off the street along the edge of property lines.

He was being cautious and safe in his work, as it should be. Yes, it’s a very slow process, but safety should come first.

From what I can see, he placed the snow carefully, as far from the driveways as he could.

Thank you, Mr. Payloader driver. Stay safe out there. Pictures later. That is in Shelton on Isinglass Road, by the way.”

Keith Murray

“Big thanks to the guys plowing Main Street in Ansonia. Rather than block up the openings at the paths I had already shoveled in front of my office, they were kind enough the back-up and clear them out again. Thanks for being considerate!”

THE BAD

As of Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service was saying snow is likely Wednesday into Thursday.

The Weather Service says there is a 60 percent of snow. The stuff will start falling between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Between 2 to 4 inches of snow is possible.

Here’s a photo of what passed as road signs in the immediate aftermath of the historic blizzard. It was submitted by Jodie Gil of Shelton and shows Oak Avenue in Shelton Tuesday morning:

Oak Avenue In Shelton Feb. 12.

Click here for the forecast.

Officials said the potential new snow wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem, but coming a few days after a three-foot blizzard is another matter.

“Until the level of snow drops, it’s always a challenge,” Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti said.

Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller said any snowfall Wednesday night “will certainly make it more challenging.”

The good news? “With the level of snow that we’re talking about, we’ll be able to go back to using all of our trucks again,” Miller said.

The town’s pickup plow trucks were useless in the face of the amount of snow dropped on the region by the blizzard — and its big trucks got stuck plenty, too — but if Wednesday brings only a few additional inches of snow, all the town’s trucks can be deployed, Miller said.

THE BURIED

Residents of the lower Naugatuck Valley still have plenty to do — and dig. Many people’s driveways are still full of snow, often due to the fact that private plow drivers weren’t able to get to them during the blizzard.

A picture of one such property off Bellevue Terrace in Seymour — a multi-family home with a long, sloping driveway — is below. Residents have been stuck since the snow fell Friday, they told the Valley Indy Tuesday.

Untitled

Roads in Seymour, meanwhile, were “in pretty good condition” Tuesday — as good as could be expected, anyway, Miller said.

“We have just about every road open,” Miller said. “There are a few roads left and a portion of some roads that require some special equipment,” which would hopefully reach them by the end of the day.

Miller said crews were also working on widening roads and knocking down snow piles to improve visibility at intersections.

Tuesday’s sun helped the snow removal process.

“There’s no question that the sun and the temperature helped everything,” Lauretti said Tuesday, with a caveat: “But once the temperature drops it causes icing, it makes the snow heavy.”

That presents the problem of removing heavier, icy drifts of snow where it hadn’t been cleared yet, he said.

Shelton schools will be closed Wednesday, and the mayor said whether they’ll open Thursday remains doubtful. Trash pickup has also been suspended until further notice.

A notice posted on the city’s website later Tuesday said City Hall would be opening at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, and that the Community Center is “tentatively” scheduled to open at noon.

Shelton had made all its roads passable by Tuesday, Lauretti said, but crews would be at work a while yet.

“We’re widening right now,” Lauretti said. “The widening is a slow process because it’s all machines.”

“While we’ll take a big bite out of it from today to tomorrow, the effort’s going to go on for at least another week,” Lauretti said.

Ansonia had at least one travel lane open on all city roads, Mayor James Della Volpe announced in a message to residents Tuesday afternoon.

Schools will remain closed Wednesday.

“We are now beginning the process of widening the roadways. As streets are widened, your driveways may become partially blocked. We apologize in advance but this is a necessary part of our snow clearing efforts,” Della Volpe said in his message.

Click here to read the full text of the Ansonia mayor’s message.

Derby workers continued their efforts to widen Derby roads, according to an e-mail from Derby Police Chief Gerald Narowski. City buildings were open for business as of Tuesday morning.

Derby schools announced Tuesday that schools will be closed Wednesday and Thursday. Friday and Monday were pre-planned days off for Derby students — so classes won’t resume in Derby until Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The issue with schools is not so much whether parking lots are cleared. It’s whether it’s safe to have kids on snow-buried sidewalks waiting for buses.

“The real problem is the safety of children en route to school, not if the schools are open for business,” Narowski said in an e-mail. “There is no place for pedestrians to go except in the street and no place to stand for bus stops.”

This photo shows leaks in the ceiling at the ShopRite in Derby on Pershing Drive. It was contributed by Shannon Perry, via the Valley Indy’s super-fantastic Facebook page:
ShopRite Derby

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