Darien Storm News: Hourly Train Service Resumes at 6 PM, Travel Ban on State Roads Lifted

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Update 4:58 p.m., Tuesday — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that hourly train service on all Metro-North lines, including the New Haven Line, will resume at 6 p.m. Full service resumes Wednesday morning.

The service resumes on lines, but not branches, according to the announcement. When full service begins again on Wednesday, trains will run on their regular schedule. Cuomo’s announcement said trains will leave “within five minutes of their normal departure time.”

Update, 3:02 p.m., Tuesday — Gov. Malloy has announced that the travel ban on state roads will be lifted at 5 p.m.

Metro-North has not announced when train service will be back.

Here’s the governor’s entire statement in a short news release:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced this afternoon that the travel ban on state roads that went into effect early this morning will be lifted effective at 5:00 p.m. today, but he is still urging motorists to stay off the roads if possible this evening as conditions remain treacherous.

“By limiting travel on state roads to only essential personnel, we dramatically reduced the potential for accidents and it has provided road crews with much greater access to clear the roads faster,” Governor Malloy said. “As the storm begins to taper off, we will be lifting the ban effective at 5 p.m. today, however I want to stress that residents are still strongly advised to stay off the roads if at all possible.

“DOT crews are still clearing snow from many roads, and black ice continues to be a concern. If you absolutely do not need to travel, stay where you are this evening. Again, I want to thank all of the residents of our great state for heeding the warnings and staying safe during this storm.”

Update 1:04 p.m., Tuesday — It’s less windy, less snowy, but the National Weather Service is forecasting sleet and rain along with snow the rest of the afternoon in Darien.

At this point, there aren’t a lot of power outages in the state, especially nearby, according to Eversource.

Here’s the weather service’s forecast for Darien as of 12:54 p.m.:

This Afternoon
Snow and sleet before 3pm, then rain, snow, and sleet. High near 31. Wind chill values between 15 and 20. Windy, with a northeast wind 31 to 34 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
Tonight
Snow showers likely, mainly before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. Wind chill values between 5 and 15. Windy, with a west wind 27 to 32 mph decreasing to 21 to 26 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Wednesday
Scattered snow showers, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. Wind chill values between 5 and 15. Blustery, with a northwest wind 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Wednesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Wind chill values between 5 and 15. Blustery, with a northwest wind 21 to 24 mph.

Update, 9:45 a.m., Tuesday — Tuesday’s storm, widely called “Stella” and sometimes “Eugene,” was expected to bring only 3.5 to 5.5 more inches of snow to Darien on Tuesday and Tuesday night, with sleet joining the snow and windy conditions.

Winds plus snow could mean power outages. If Connecticut’s ban on travel on state roads is lifted, know that the Darien North and Darien South rest stops on Interstate 95 have plenty of generating capacity.

To report a power outage, call Eversource at 1-800-286-2000. Gov. Dannel Malloy tweeted earlier today: “Don’t assume your neighbor has reported an outage. Utilities can’t fix a situation unless they are notified.”

Tuesday Storm Updates

Update, 10:04 a.m. — only one Darien customer is reported without power, according to Eversource. Hardly any are without power across the state at this point. But the day is still young.

Wind advisory National Weather Service 03-14-17 Twitter image https://twitter.com/NWSNewYorkNY/status/841648588279144449

Image from National Weather Service on Twitter

Baby, it’s windy outside. Till 6 p.m. or so. Downed limbs or even trees may cut power.

 New Haven Line Shut Down

Metro-North trains were scheduled to end service by noontime Tuesday.

Road Travel Ban
Fine $92 road travel ban 03-14-17

Connecticut State Police on Twitter

Connecticut State Police posted this image and announcement on Twitter.

Update, 9:31 a.m., Tuesday — Police and state officials are urging the public to stay put inside and not to drive on the roads Tuesday. Travel is banned on state roads, especially limited access highways, including the Merritt Parkway and Interstate 95.

State roads in Darien are the Post Road (U.S. Rt. 1), Hoyt Street (Rt. 106), Mansfield Avenue (Rt. 124) and Tokeneke Road (Rt. 136).

The fine for driving on a state road, until further notice, is $92 unless you’re essential personnel — for instance, a doctor or a nurse headed between home and hospital or clinic.

Connecticut limited access highways will be shut down after 5 a.m., Tuesday. No announcement has been made as of late Monday night that Metro-North train service will be stopped, although that could happen, and Metro-North has tweeted that “substantial storm service changes [are] anticipated.”

Darien Forecast as of 8:56 AM
Snow Shoveling Tips Storm Winter 03-14-17 https://twitter.com/HeartCONN/status/841391673158586368

From the American Heart Association on Twitter

Don’t get a heart attack shoveling snow. Here are some suggestions from the American Heart Association

Update, 9:45 a.m., Tuesday — The Darien-specific forecast from the National Weather Service as of 8:56 a.m., Tuesday:

Today
Snow and sleet. The snow and sleet could be heavy at times. Areas of blowing snow after 2 pm. Steady temperature around 30. Wind chill values between 15 and 20. Windy, with a northeast wind 28 to 37 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
Tonight
Snow likely, mainly before 10pm. Areas of blowing snow before 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20. Wind chill values between 5 and 15. Windy, with a west wind 21 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Wednesday

Scattered snow showers, mainly after 11 am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. Wind chill values between 10 and 15. Blustery, with a northwest wind 15 to 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Wednesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Wind chill values between 5 and 15. Blustery, with a northwest wind 21 to 24 mph.

 

Closures & Monday Updates

Update, 12:22 p.m. Monday: You can sign up here to get Darien Code Red announcements for emergency and safety information in town. This could be very useful during and after the storm, especially if electricity is interrupted.

Other updates will appear at the bottom of this article.

Darienite.com’s Continually Updated List of Closures & Changes — Actually, If It Exists Around Here, It’s Almost Surely Closed or Cancelled on Tuesday

This list is based on communications from the organizations themselves to Darienite.com or on announcements from their websites, Facebook or Twitter accounts — or from the website lists or notifications from WFSB-TV or WVIT-TV.

In alphabetical order:

  • Bar Method Darien has cancelled all Tuesday classes.
  • Bodega Taco Bar will be closed all day.
  • Connecticut Courts will be closed on Tuesday, and jurors won’t be going to court on either Tuesday or Wednesday, the Connecticut Judicial Branch announced.
  • CTtransit bus service (in the Stamford area, including Darien) “will not operate due to weather conditions on Tuesday” according to the service’s website.
  • Darien Community Association will be closed Tuesday
  • Darien Library — closed Tuesday, some cancelled events Monday and Wednesday (see below)
  • DARIEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
  • Darien YMCA — closed Tuesday (“Please check our website for opening times on Wednesday.”
  • Grand Central Market in Grand Central Terminal will be closed Tuesday.
  • Leary’s Liquor Cabinet, 186 Post Road — the store will be closed Tuesday.
  • Nielsen’s Florist will be closed Tuesday
  • Norwalk Transit District has cancelled service for Tuesday, according to its website.
  • Person-to-Person will be closed Tuesday
  • Rucci Law Group’s offices will be closed Tuesday.
  • Starbucks in Darien will be closed Tuesday.
  • Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford will be closed Tuesday (WVIT-TV)
  • TOWN HALL WILL BE CLOSED TUESDAY. The decision on when to reopen will be made at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday. Tuesday night’s Planning Commission meeting is cancelled and items on its agenda will be taken up in a March 21 meeting.
  • University of Bridgeport campus in Stamford will be closed Tuesday (WFSB-TV)
  • University of Connecticut campuses will be closed Tuesday, including UCONN-Stamford
  • YWCA Darien/Norwalk will be closed Tuesday.

 

— If your business or organization is closing or changing hours, alert Darienite.com with an email to Dave@Darienite.com, and we’ll spread the word for you. —

We’ll keep updating this list of closures.

Update, 6:37 p.m. — Better late than never:

Snow closure announcement 03-13-17

Well after telling only the Darien Times that schools would be closed on Tuesday, an official announcement is posted on the Darien Public Schools home page.

The winds will be high, but we’ve had worse over the past several weeks. It’s the predicted snowfall amount that’s daunting — and could contribute to power outages when tree limbs break: From late tonight through Tuesday night, a total of 13 to 22 inches may fall, the National Weather Service says as of its 10:56 a.m. announcement.

Snowfall from NWS briefing document 03-13-17

This image is from an online \”briefing\” document issued by the National Weather Service at 6:30 a.m. Monday.

The weather service has issued a Blizzard Warning (from midnight to midnight on Tuesday), a Hazardous Weather Outlook and a Coastal Flood Advisory (from midnight to 4 p.m., Tuesday). More weather information is below.

Closing Time

Leary's storm closing 03-13-17The first closure announcements for Tuesday have rolled in — Darien Library on the Post Road and Leary’s Liquor Cabinet, 186 Post Road in Darien, along with Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford.

The Library says in its announcement says that not only will the library be closed all day on Tuesday, but a 4 p.m. Monday program for kids about “St. Patrick’s Day Crafts” has also been cancelled and a 4 p.m. Wednesday program, “Pi Day for Teens” has also been cancelled (and they were going to serve pie).

Rescheduled Kids + Teens Programs at the library:

Rescheduled Adult Program:

Senior Moments: Butterflies in My Backyard will be rescheduled. Check the Library’s website or Friday’s This Week at Darien Library email for the new date and time.

SEO: Getting Found on Google has been cancelled.

Weather Forecast for Darien

The National Weather Service has issued this forecast specifically for Darien through Thursday, as of 10:56 a.m., Monday:

Today
Sunny, with a high near 33. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. Northwest wind around 6 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.
Tonight
Snow, mainly after 10pm. Low around 25. Wind chill values between 15 and 20. East wind 6 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Tuesday
Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Steady temperature around 29. Wind chill values between 10 and 15. Windy, with a northeast wind 29 to 34 mph, with gusts as high as 46 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 11 to 17 inches possible.
Tuesday Night
Snow likely before 8pm, then scattered snow showers, mainly between 8pm and 3am. Cloudy, with a low around 20. Wind chill values between 10 and 15. Blustery, with a northwest wind 16 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Wednesday
Scattered snow showers, mainly after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30. Northwest wind 13 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Wednesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 20.
Thursday
Mostly sunny, with a high near 33.
Thursday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 20.
Here’s the Blizzard Warning

As of the 4:18 a.m. update:

The National Weather Service in Upton has issued a Blizzard
Warning, which is in effect from midnight tonight to midnight EDT
Tuesday night. The Blizzard Watch is no longer in effect.

* Locations...Metropolitan New York City and New Jersey, Western
  Long Island, Southern Westchester, Southern Fairfield, Southern
  New Haven, Northern Middlesex, and Northern New London
  counties.

* Hazard Types...Heavy Snow and Blizzard Conditions. Snow may mix
  with or change to sleet and rain across southern and eastern
  coastal areas late Tuesday morning into Tuesday afternoon.

* Snow Accumulations...12 to 20 inches...highest amounts to the
  north and west.

* Snowfall Rates...2 to 4 inches per hour early Tuesday morning
  into early Tuesday afternoon.

* Timing...Late tonight into Tuesday evening.

* Impacts...Dangerous travel due to whiteout conditions at times.
  Several roads may become impassable. Power outages possible.
  Damaging wind gusts possible across Long Island and coastal
  Connecticut.

* Winds...Northeast 25 to 35 mph with gusts 40 to 55 mph on
  Tuesday. Highest winds across coastal areas.

* Temperatures...In the upper 20s.

* Visibilities...One quarter mile or less at times.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout
conditions...making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If
you must travel...have a winter survival kit with you. If you get
stranded...stay with your vehicle.
Here’s the Coastal Flood Advisory

Last updated at 9:18 a.m., Monday:

...COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 4 PM EDT
TUESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN UPTON HAS ISSUED A COASTAL FLOOD
ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 4 PM EDT TUESDAY. THE
COASTAL FLOOD WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* LOCATIONS...ALONG THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE LONG ISLAND SOUND.

* TIDAL DEPARTURES...2 1/2 TO 3 1/2 FT ABOVE ASTRONOMICAL TIDES.

* TIMING...MINOR TO LOCALLY MODERATE COASTAL FLOODING IS EXPECTED
  AROUND THE TIMES OF HIGH TIDE TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

* COASTAL FLOOD IMPACTS...MINOR TO LOCALLY MODERATE FLOODING OF
  THE MOST VULNERABLE WATERFRONT AND SHORELINE ROADS AND/OR
  ADJACENT PROPERTIES DUE TO HEIGHT OF STORM TIDE OR WAVE
  SPLASHOVER. INUNDATION OF 1 TO LOCALLY 2 FT IN THE LOWEST LYING
  SPOTS. A FEW ROAD CLOSURES MAY BE NEEDED.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE.

&&

...WESTERN L.I. SOUND WATER LEVELS FOR TUESDAY AFTERNOON...

COASTAL............TIME OF......FORECAST TOTAL......FLOOD......
LOCATION...........HIGH TIDE.....WATER LEVEL........CATEGORY...
...................................(MLLW/MHHW).................

KINGS POINT NY.......148 PM....10.8-11.3/3.0-3.5.....MIN-MOD....
STAMFORD CT..........127 PM....10.6-11.1/2.8-3.3.....MIN-MOD....
BRIDGEPORT CT........124 PM....10.2-10.6/2.9-3.4.....MIN-MOD....
NEW HAVEN CT.........123 PM......9.3-9.8/2.6-3.1.....MIN-MOD....
OLD FIELD NY.........126 PM.....9.9-10.4/2.6-3.2.....MIN-MOD....
GLEN COVE NY.........144 PM....10.7-11.2/2.8-3.4.....MIN-MOD....

The Hazardous Weather Outlook is based on the blizzard warning.

Town Hall Closing for Tuesday: Memo from Jayme Stevenson

Update 3:50 p.m. — Here’s most of a memo sent by First Selectman Jayme Stevenson to all Town Hall employees and to news organizations:

Based on the latest storm forecast, Darien Town Hall will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13.  Depending on the timing of the storm and cleanup efforts, the decision to call for a delayed opening on Wednesday 3/14 will not be made until 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15.

The storm is predicted to begin between midnight and 4am with the heaviest snow fall between 4am-3pm.  Blizzard conditions with wind gusts up to 60mph and near zero visibility are likely.  Snow totals are expected between 17 to 20 inches and moderate coastal flooding is predicted for southwestern Connecticut.  Please take all precautions for you and your family to weather the storm safely.

I’m grateful to our DPW staff, police and emergency responders who will be working around the clock during the storm.  As always, I will be available to assist our residents and staff during the storm.

Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting Items Postponed

Update, 4:09 p.m. — The Darien Planning & Zoning Commission won’t be meeting Tuesday night. Instead, the P&Z Department announced, “All agenda items will be put on for a special meeting on Tuesday March 21 at 8 p.m. in Room 206 of Town Hall.”

The Name of This Storm

Update, 4:39 p.m. — The storm is being called either “Storm Stella” or “Storm Eugene.” A name can help with some future headlines, and it makes storms easier to remember. (A second name is useless.)