Freezing Rain Coming; City, Yale, Gateway Closing Monday

Don’t go to work Monday.

Don’t even go to the hospital for scheduled surgery.

Mayor John DeStefano delivered that message Sunday evening as the city moved into another phase of tackling the aftermath of Winter Storm Nemo, which dumped a historic 34 inches on New Haven and largely paralyzed the city.

Returning from a trip to Dublin, DeStefano delivered the message alongside the mayors of Hamden, West Haven, and East Haven at a 6:30 p.m. press conference on the New Haven Green. (Click on the play arrow to watch DeStefano afterward detail New Haven’s planning for Monday morning.)

“It is just not safe to come out yet. Particularly [with] freezing rain tomorrow,” DeStefano remarked. “Right now there’s too much snow and too many cars for what space exists on city streets. Our message is tomorrow to stay home.”

Or as Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson put it: “There is too much snow. There is too much to plow ... Sometimes Mother Nature deals a hand that is not in your deck.”

As some citizens began fretting about getting to work, the mayor announced that major employers—including Yale, Gateway Community College, the schools, and city government—will all remain closed Monday at DeStefano’s request.

Yale-New Haven is also suspending elective surgery, though patients should check with their doctors to make sure.

And while no formal ban is in place on driving, officials are still urging people to keep their cars off the road.

“We’re going into the neighborhoods” with payloaders to begin plowing roads throughout town before returning to the major arterial streets to widen the lanes, the mayor said.

Most roads remain impassable in town, although crews have succeeded in clearing single lanes on major arterial streets as well as second-tier thoroughfares.

But the idea has been to make them passable for emergency vehicles. Not for people’s cars. Drivers have made the many roads impassable again by trying to drive on them. Click here to read about how that was complicating the efforts of the fire department to respond to emergency and help get streets cleared Sunday.

“We’re urging employers if they stay closed tomorrow” so drivers don’t try getting to the center of town from the neighborhoods, DeStefano said.

Meanwhile, DeStefano said, the city will “aggressively” tow cars that are stuck in intersections or otherwise on the streets Monday.

“People are trying to [drive] in two-way traffic. They’re getting stuck in embankments. We have to pull equipment off to rescue the cars,” the mayor reported. “Or [after shoveling out cars] they’re going into intersections where there’s a lot of snow still in the ground. They’re getting stuck.” That won’t be allowed, he vowed.

The city is clearing school parking lots Sunday night. People should bring cars there if they have nowhere else to put them, DeStefano advised.

“I know it’s frustrating. We all understand that. Stay home if you at all can tomorrow. It will help you in the long run. It will help your neighbors,” he said.

DeStefano said officials will have a better handle on plowing progress Monday morning and will issue an estimate then about how long it will take to clear all of New Haven’s roads.

Paul Bass PhotoThe assembled mayors were dressed in storm-casual attire Sunday night: all but DeStefano in blue jeans, West Haven’s and East Haven’s mayors in sweatshirts, no ties or suits in sight.

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posted by: Claudia Herrera on February 10, 2013  9:09pm

Where is national guard? It’s only me or why I don’t see any news photo or something about them?

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on February 11, 2013  2:10am

The cities should bring in this.

Snow Removal Systems - P100 snow melter demonstration

posted by: nib1 on February 11, 2013  9:08am

Why haven’t we heard from Perez? He was the acting Mayor when the storm began. You dropped the ball.  I want to know why there were no plows out Friday night so they could get a head start on the storm.  Now you have plows getting stuck because there is too much snow.  Destefano had to come back from Ireland to clean up his mess. This is ridiculous. Side streets have not been plowed, but downtown is clear and the main roads are plowed.  What the ....!!

posted by: Walt on February 11, 2013  9:19am

Suggest you print Hamden Mayor Jackson’s message to citizens.  or refer Hamdenites to for a printout of his message

The many from Hamden who seem to think they live on the only uncleared streets, who post on see click etc/asking for special treatment,  indicate they haven’t seen it.

Whether or not the decision to stop plowing and just dig was right or not , is for the future,  but it was made with good intent I guess

I’m figuring we are home-bound for another couple of days at least and am still thankful we hsve power , heat and food but am really getting the feeling that things are getting worse, not better

Still have drift of almost 6 feet keeping house and garage doors   closed,  and can’t get help from our kids until the streets are open but we are still hopeful and lucky that they are concerned for us and will eventually reach us

Have suggested to one daughter that she postpone her annual St,  Patrick’s Day party   but I may be being pessimistic