FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – A massive winter storm that was barely on the local radar – literally – 24 hours before it struck brought Fairfield County to a standstill Tuesday.
The coastal storm resulted in early school dismissals and treacherous travel conditions along I-95 and the Merritt Parkway and the Metro-North rails Tuesday.
After a snowy, windy and chilly night, residents of southwestern Connecticut are waking up Wednesday morning and are preparing to dig out and to try to start their day.
Towns and cities from the Gold Coast and up into the foothills of the Berkshires are busy, too, plowing, salting and sanding to help those residents get on their way safely by the Wednesday commute.
Snow emergencies remained in effect in Norwalk, Stamford, Greenwich and Danbury, where residents were ordered to move their parked cars off city streets to allow for plowing.
Metro-North planned to operate regular weekday service on Wednesday bur warned that delays and train combinations would be likely on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines. The decisions to cancel or combine trains will be based upon the condition of the track and power systems, the number of train cars available, and the location and availability of crews.
Customers should listen for station announcements, check Metro-North's website and listen to the media for updates. For schedules, visit this website .
The temperatures remained bitterly cold, but the storm was tapering off early Wednesday. It dropped nearly a foot of snow along the coastline to more than 4 to 6 inches near I-84. Here are a sample of snowfall totals from Tuesday night from the National Weather Service:
- Norwalk: 10 inches
- New Canaan: 10 inches
- Weston: 10 inches
- Greenwich: 10 inches
- Darien: 9.5 inches
- Stamford: 9.1 inches
- Danbury: 3 inches
But even as the storm moves away, a deep freeze sets in across Fairfield County with temperatures in the teens and wind chills below zero for another few days, according to the National Weather Service. .
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 15 degrees and wind chills as low as -12. The frigid temperatures continue in the evening, with an overnight low of about -2.
Thursday will be partly sunny, with a high near 17 and wind chills as low as -9 and an overnight low near 0 degrees. Friday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 17.
Snow returns to the forecast on Saturday, with a slight chance of snow and a high near 31.
Drivers are reminded that they are required under state law to clear snow and ice from all passenger cars and trucks because of the dangers of ice missiles.
Motorists should be aware of black ice and other hazardous conditions on the roads. Drivers are advised to be extra vigilant after storms.
Residents who are out shoveling or waiting for a bus or train should wear hats and gloves to cover all skin to protect against frostbite and hypothermia in the frigid cold.