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Ellington, Somers Prepare for Winter Storm

With a blizzard watch in effect, preparations are already underway and school has been cancelled for Friday.

With a blizzard watch in effect for Ellington and Somers, officials and residents are preparing for the storm.

Somers First Selectwoman Lisa Pellegrini said that the town is handling preparations the way it always does, with the fire department, state police, and the Department of Public Works all getting vehicles and equipment ready.

Pellegrini said that she is in contact with her staff, emergency management director, and the Board of Selectmen.

Residents are encouraged to ensure that they have enough water, food, batteries, and fuel (for generators and snow blowers, as well as in their vehicles) and to also make sure their cell phones are charged.

The fire department is also reminding residents to help out the department by clearing the snow away from hydrants that may be on or near their property.

Pellegrini said that residents should limit travel during the blizzard/heavy snow conditions, and report power outages to CL&P at 1-800-286-2000. 

Area residents are stocking up on the necessary supplies, filling the bathtub with water, and moving grills to sheltered locations in case they need to cook out.

Due to the impending storm, the Ellington and Somers schools will be closed on Friday.

CL&P and United Illuminating, the state’s two major utilities, are gearing up for the storm. Spokesmen at both companies said the major concern is the high winds the storm is expected to bring - gusts of up to 60 MPH - and the possibility that warm air pushing up from the south could mean a heavy, wetter snow in some regions.

“We’ve already held a few internal meetings and storm-team calls and we’re reaching out to external resources,” said Micheal West, UI’s spokesman. “All of our UI crews will be available throughout the weekend,” he added.

Mitch Gross, CL&P’s spokesman said his utility has issued an “all hands on deck” alert to its workers, is holding meetings throughout the today with workers and expect to have “hundreds and hundreds” of workers on duty to deal with outages that could occur this weekend.

Gross, however, cautioned that crews will not be able to restore power during the storm or when the winds are high because of the dangers that could create.

“Our line workers and tree workers will be out there as long as it’s safe,” he added.

But, he said, the utility is also urging its customers to be ready for the storm. CL&P has storm preparedness tips on its Web site, as does the American Red Cross.

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