State Roads Closed as Blizzard Barrels into Branford

by marcia chambers | Mar 14, 2017 8:00 pm

Mary Johnson Photo UPDATE—A blizzard barreled into Branford early Tuesday morning as a serious Nor’easter pounded the state with heavy snow and strong winds. The temperature got warmer as the day unfolded and the snow turned to sleet and rain. Temperatures were expected to plunge tonight, creating potential black ice problems for the morning. Plows were out clearing Branford’s roadways.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has ordered a statewide travel ban, beginning at 5 a.m. Tuesday. The ban included all state roads in Branford and surrounding communities. It remained in effect until 5 p.m. today.

At 5:30 p.m, at his final press conference for the day, the governor announced that state offices will be open for business tomorrow and told workers to come to work.

It’s not often that the state closes down its main roads, the governor said at a news conference in Hartford. “We don’t do this frequently. Because we don’t do it frequently people listen. This is New England. We have snow. I’m most appreciative that people listened.” Earlier in the day he urged residents to stay home. “Make brownies,” he said, or “read a book.” His wife took him up on it and a tray of brownies was later delivered and shared with the press corps covering the blizzard. 

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Winter Wakes Up

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 10, 2017 8:12 am | Comments (1)

Bill O'Brien Photo After a relatively mild season that included temperatures in the 50s, winter woke up like a bear from hibernation.

A New England classic, Storm Niko dumped around a foot of blowing snow at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour during its height, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. yesterday. Unlike January’s storm, which had the courtesy to strike on a weekend, Niko made its appearance just in time for the work day.

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Shoring up Branford’s Coastal Neighborhoods

by Diana Stricker | May 9, 2016 7:10 am

File Photo Frequent flooding on Meadow Street and Hammer Field could be reduced by installing a flood gate and a pumping system. That’s one of numerous community-wide options discussed in Branford’s proposed Coastal Resilience Plan. The plan outlines changes in neighborhoods from Short Beach to Stony Creek and includes upgrades in drainage systems in specific areas. 

The draft of the comprehensive plan was presented at an informational meeting Tuesday by town engineer Janice Plaziak; and engineer David Murphy of Milone & MacBroom Inc. of Cheshire. The federally-funded plan has been in the works for several months, and previous public sessions were held in November and February.

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Short And Sweet Spring Snow

by Sally E. Bahner & Mary Johnson | Mar 21, 2016 12:01 pm | Comments (1)

Mary Johnson Photo The adage says that March goes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb, but given this weird winter the opposite was true. Albeit the lion that departed this morning was more like a lamb. 

And no one is surprised.

Mary Johnson Photo In fact the weather pundits have been hyping the storm all week. Accumulations have ranged from 4 to 8 inches, 2 to 4 inches, before finally settling on 3 to 5 inches.

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Heavy Snow Today; Schools Closed

by Staff | Feb 8, 2016 12:46 pm

Mary Johnson Photo Here’s the thing about predictions. They are just that. Three to 6 inches of snow were predicted last night at 6 p.m. and now that’s risen to 5 to 9 inches. Heavy snow, which may rise to near-blizzard conditions, is expected to continue along shoreline throughout the afternoon. Tides are expected to be about 2-1/2 feet above normal (high tide was at 10:45 a.m.).

Mary Johnson Photo Thus far the snow is light and fluffy as opposed to the wet, heavy snow from last week. The town’s plow trucks are clearing the roads.


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Community Digs Out; Firefighters Keep Busy

by Sally E. Bahner & Mary Johnson | Jan 25, 2016 2:55 pm | Comments (1)

Mary Johnson Photo Branford and the shoreline communities are digging out of a foot of snow or more as town trucks clear roads and folks begin shoveling out under sunny skies. When the winds subsided and the snow stopped after nearly a day of blizzard-like conditions, Branford accumulated 11 inches of snow. Guilford had about 16 inches.

The town’s public works department plowers were busy lifting snow from the streets. State workers cleared highways and Metro North has resumed operating a regular weekday schedule.

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Blizzard Slams Branford

by Marcia Chambers & Sally E. Bahner | Jan 23, 2016 8:15 pm

Bill O'Brien Photo UPDATE: 7:10 p.m. As evening approached and snow continued to fall at a fast clip, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy urged Connecticut motorists to stay off the state’s roads. “We are closely monitoring storm conditions, which vary greatly from area to area.” The blizzard is expected to taper off this evening. He urged those in the southern part of the state, which is more affected by the storm, to stay off the roads if possible.

Motorists seemed to be listening.  I-95 near exit 53 and 54 was virtually deserted because visibility is extremely poor. Snow was falling between 1 and 3 inches an hour, packing a punch as it hit the ground.

The DOT Twitter feed is reporting many accidents along I-95 from Stamford to New London and along I-84 in Waterbury.

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The Sand Has Disappeared

by Diana Stricker | Nov 24, 2015 9:10 am | Comments (2)

With Permission Shoreline residents know the effects of rising seas and climate change—the sand is disappearing and storms are becoming fiercer.

“I see water at the sea walls where there used to be beach,” said Branford Town Engineer Janice Plaziak, who is spearheading an effort to develop a Coastal Resilience Plan.

Branford is developing the resiliency plan to identify areas at risk for storm surge, erosion and flooding. The federally funded study will identify options and plans to help make the town more resilient to long-term coastal risks.

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Are You A Hurricane Diehard?

by Diana Stricker | Nov 18, 2015 9:03 am

Mary Johnson Photo Coastal Connecticut residents don’t have realistic attitudes when it comes to potential hurricane risks, according to two recent studies by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

“We’re self-reliant and independent and we tend to underestimate the risk,” said Dr. Jennifer Marlon, who co-authored the two studies.

Marlon said people’s perceptions of hurricane risks affect their preparedness and their willingness to evacuate.

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Hurricane Hype or Proper Preparation or Both?

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 3, 2015 8:40 am

File Photo Meteorologists are having a field day this week second-guessing the path of Hurricane Joaquin as it churns up the Atlantic. As of Friday morning, it was still a serious slow-moving Category 4 storm over the Bahamas.

The now-ubiquitous spaghetti models showed landfall all up and down the East Coast and even heading for Connecticut as of Thursday; talk about its possible landfall along the shoreline started as early as Tuesday this week for an anticipated arrival this Monday. However, as of Friday morning, the storm is moving toward the northeast, out to sea and away from Connecticut and the East Coast.

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