UPDATED: Schools canceled as region braces for next storm

In a Jan. 28, 2015, Day file photo, Stonington borough blanketed in snow last Wednesday when the region was digging out after more than 2 feet of snow. Snowfall between 5 and 10 inches is expected on the southeastern Connecticut coast overnight Sunday into Monday.
In a Jan. 28, 2015, Day file photo, Stonington borough blanketed in snow last Wednesday when the region was digging out after more than 2 feet of snow. Snowfall between 5 and 10 inches is expected on the southeastern Connecticut coast overnight Sunday into Monday.

Less than a week after a blizzard paralyzed the region with more than two feet of snow, residents are bracing for another storm Monday that has canceled schools in area towns.

While this one is expected to generate far less snow than last week’s monster, it will mix with sleet and freezing rain followed by single digit temperatures Monday night that could turn local roads into skating rinks.

The storm arrived just as some municipalities, such as Stonington borough, finished clearing their streets after last week’s storm.

Warden Jeff Callahan said tonight that the outside contractors that has to be hired to clear the narrow village streets, just completed their work on Saturday. Snow had to be trucked away and dumped at Wimpfheimer Park and Stonington Point.

“The streets are looking very clean, just in time for the next one,” said Callahan, who accompanied Gov. Dannel Malloy on his tour of the borough, last Wednesday after the storm.

The borough has already exhausted its snow removal budget for the winter after it hired the contractors with heavy equipment to assist its two-person highway crew.

As of tonight, New London, Groton, Norwich, Waterford, Stonington, East Lyme, Montville, Ledyard, Colchester, Salem, North Stonington, Old Saybrook, Lyme-Old Lyme and the University of Connecticut had all canceled school today. Mitchell College and Connecticut College will post an announcement at 6 a.m. Monday morning.

For New London students, Monday's cancellation means they have not gone to school since last Monday. Classes were called off all of last week after the city struggled to clear its narrow streets.

The city’s Chief Administrative Officer Laura Natusch said tonight that Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio was unavailable to speak about the city’s preparations for the snow.

“It’s all hands on deck now,” she said.

The city, which will implement a parking ban as of 11 p.m. tonight, was among those in the region to do so. Some communities also posted trash pickup and canceled Monday’s municipal meetings.

The snow which began tonight and will last well into Monday could bring 3 to 6 inches to the shoreline, while inland areas could get 4 to 8 inches, said Gary Lessor, a meteorologist at the Western Connecticut State University Weather Center.

Snow is expected to become heavy at times towards Monday morning. Around daybreak, some sleet and freezing rain will mix along the shoreline, he said.

As the morning progresses, the shoreline will transition to rain, while sleet and freezing rain will come inland, he said.

Snow showers and flurries will fall late Monday afternoon and evening, with skies expected to clear later in the evening.

But this snow storm won’t be a repeat of last week’s blizzard.

Lessor said the difference between the two storms will be like “night and day,” in terms of accumulation. However, this snow will be of a heavier variety.

“That was light and fluffy snow, whereas this will be heavy because of the sleet and freezing rain,” he said.

For the rest of the week, temperatures will average close to 10 degrees below normal.

“After this storm, it’s just going to continue to be extremely cold,” he said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy issued a statement this afternoon urging residents to take it slow and, if possible, avoid travel during the height of the storm Monday morning. The state’s Emergency Operations Center is slated to open at 4 a.m. this morning. Malloy also delayed the opening of state offices on Monday, and directed nonessential state employees to report to work at 10 a.m.

“We are also taking steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter. I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and continue to encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need,” he said. Single digit temperatures and wind chill well below zero is expected to follow the storm on Monday night.

j.wojtas@theday.com

@joewojtas

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