WESTPORT, Conn. — Snowplows and town officials are at the ready in Westport as the first snowstorm of the year rolls in.
In preparation of the storm, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe said the town has taken a number of proactive measures.
“Key personnel will remain at a public works facility to ensure our streets become passable for emergency vehicles and residents in the shortest period possible,” Marpe said in a statement.
The storm, which began Thursday night and was expected to end early Friday afternoon, is forecast to bring between 6 and 10 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. A winter storm warning is in effect for Westport and the rest of Fairfield County until 1 p.m. Friday.
Wind gusts of up to 35 mph are also predicted during the storm, which could bring down power lines. Realizing this, Marpe said Connecticut Light & Power is in “continual contact” with the town’s emergency management staff and will have “additional resources available to repair electrical problems.”
Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury—who is also the town's emergency management director—said the storm will be closely monitored from the town's Emergency Operations Center.
With frigid temperatures in the forecast, the town's Human Resources Department took time Thursday afternoon to reach out to elderly, disabled and other residents who may be at risk during an emergency.
"We contacted all 93 residents on our emergency courtesy contact list," said Patty Haberstroh, the department's family services specialist. "We alert them that a storm is coming and let them know how to prepare. We ask about things like batteries, land lines, tell them to make sure their cellphones are charged, and things of that nature."
Residents are also asked to check on neighbors who may require assistance.
Marpe said residents should avoid driving Thursday night and Friday morning.
"The safest place to spend this evening is warm at home," he said.
To ensure residents' safety, Marpe reminded all those who use fireplaces and wood-burning stoves to leave the ashes in the fireplace/stove until there are no remaining hot embers.
Residents who use portable space heaters are reminded to keep enough distance between the heater and any flammable objects. Any part of the heater should be at least three feet away from objects.
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