Towns taking storm in stride


Snow falls on New Haven Road in Naugatuck around 8 a.m. Tuesday. –LARAINE WESCHLER/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Aside from the howling wind and the sound of sleet mixed with snow pelting windows, officials reported that things are pretty quiet in Naugatuck, Beacon Falls and Prospect as Winter Storm Stella pounds the state.

The largest reported issue thus far occurred at about 1 p.m. in Prospect when a large tree fell on a 500 gallon propane tank at the corner of Summit Road and Royal Crest Drive.

Although the tank was damaged and breached, there were no injuries, Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield said.

The Volunteer Fire Department of Prospect and Holcon Gas, which owns the tank, is on the scene, Chatfield said.

Authorities from the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection are expected to arrive on the scene shortly, Chatfield said at about 2 p.m.

The roads are currently open and traffic can pass since Paradigm Health Care Center, a nursing home, is accessed by Royal Crest Drive, he said.

A service wire came off a home on Chandler Drive in Prospect earlier in the day, which made the road impassible, Chatfield said. The road has since reopened.

Chatfield said the Public Works Department has been working to ensure the roads are plowed, and there are extra police officers and firefighters on duty in case of emergency.

“Right now we are holding our own,” Chatfield said.

Snow began falling during the early-morning hours and the rate of snowfall increased as the day wore on. At 11 a.m., snow was falling at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour.

Heavy winds combined with the weight of snow hanging on wires caused numerous power outages.

In Naugatuck, there were more than 800 people without power in the morning, Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said. By 2 p.m. the power had been restored to all the homes, according to Hess.

John Bagioni of Fax-Alert Weather Service said the main question is how far north the snow will change to sleet. As of 11 a.m., the snow was changing to sleet and freezing rain in southeast New Haven County.

“The potential for sleet to mix in will hold the key to final snow totals and overall clean-up impacts,” Bagioni said.

A tree fell on this propane tank at the corner of Summit Road and Royal Crest Drive in Prospect at about 1 p.m. No one was injured. –CONTRIBUTED

Snow will mix with sleet and rain along the coast and in southern and eastern Connecticut, he said. Totals will likely exceed 15 inches, with some areas receiving 20 inches plus.

The highest totals will be in the western third of Connecticut, especially northern Fairfield County and northern New Haven County, western Hartford County and Litchfield County.

As the storm winds down, the borough will continue to plow the main roads, followed by the secondary roads, and then the smaller roads and cul-de-sacs, Hess said.

Hess said there were no emergencies reported in the borough as of 2 p.m.

Anyone who has snow-related issues should call public works at 203-720-7070, Hess said.

In the case of an emergency, Hess said, all the trucks have GPS and the borough will direct them to the emergency.

The storm caused trash collection to be pushed back a day in Naugatuck, public works reported. Tuesday’s collection will take place Wednesday, Wednesday’s on Thursday, and so on through Saturday.

In Beacon Falls, the town’s emergency center has been open since 5 a.m. at the firehouse.

Beacon Hose Company No. 1 Chief Jim Trzaski said the fire department received no emergency calls in Beacon Falls as of 2 p.m. The fire house is fully staffed and ready to respond, with members coming in at 6 a.m., he said.

“Thankfully everything was fine,” Trzaski said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a travel ban starting at 5 a.m. The ban will be lifted at 5 p.m.

Chatfield was thankful for the ban.

“It made it easy for public works to clear roads,” Chatfield said.

The Republican-American contributed to this article.