The snow started earlier than expected Saturday and began to accumulate on the ground, making driving hazardous, and in the trees, bringing down branches and wires.
As of 9 p.m. Saturday, 71 percent of Brookfield residents were without power, 5,500 homes and businesses out and growing. Due to how early this storm descended, most trees still have their leaves, which are hanging onto the wet, heavy snow and putting an added strain on branches and wires.
Brookfield police are dealing with numerous calls of downed and severed power lines, car accidents (no major injuries reported yet) and fallen tree limbs, including one that landed on a vehicle parked in a driveway.
“There’s a big mess going,” Superintendent of Highways John Plummer said Saturday evening, as the temperature dropped and the snow continued to pile up. “There are wires and trees down everywhere,” and residents should stay off the roadways if at all possible.
The town’s emergency shelter is open at Brookfield High School (BHS) with cots, and heat, available for residents without power.
Police Maj. Jay Purcell asked that residents using the shelter bring blankets and pillows, as well as their own soap and towers for the showers. Anyone needing the shelter should enter through the high school’s main entrance, near the cafeteria.
Restoration efforts have been put on hold until the storm subsides, as it is too dangerous for line crews to be working this evening.
“We’re not in restoration mode and won’t be until it’s safe,” CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross said, stating that those without power should expect to be so for a “prolonged period.”
Gross said that crews will be out doing “make safe and emergency work” tonight, such as downed and exposed wires, “unsafe conditions like that.”
Residents should report general outages to CL&P, however downed wires should be a 9-1-1 call.
“We’ll be out there as soon as it’s safe to get the lights back on,” Gross said.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), it’s going to continue snowing through to 5 a.m. Sunday, with a potential for 5 to 9 inches to accumulate overnight.
It’s going to be windy and stormy overnight, as well, with a chance of thunder and visibility below a quarter of a mile.