Updated, Sunday, Oct. 30
Most of the town was without power on Sunday morning after a devastating October snowstorm. Trees limbs and downed power lines still block many streets.
Under sunny and clear skies, many residents were out surveying the damage in their neighborhoods and wondering whether Halloween trick-or-treating should be moved to another day.
Original story, Saturday, Oct. 29
With 54 percent of the town without power by Saturday evening, town officials used their emergency call service for the second time in two months. This time it was to tell residents not to leave their homes because of the hazards of downed trees and live power lines.
OK, so all the weathermen’s predictions of a serious snowstorm hitting the area Saturday turned out not to be a dud after all.
In fact, current predictions indicate the storm could drop as much as four to eight inches of snow on the area through early Sunday morning.
As of 3:15 p.m. Saturday, West Hartford's Director of Public Works, John Phillips, reported that roads around town were "greasy."
"Smaller cars are having trouble stopping at stop signs and are sliding through intersections. Conditions are very difficult to maneuver," he said. "If you don't have to go out, don't."
Phillips said that all available crews are out working, plowing the slush off the streets. Since the temperatures are hovering around freezing, there's really nothing to melt with salt.
"The tree canopies are already sagging and bent way over. You should be careful even when walking. You never know when a tree limb is going to fall," Phillips said.
The snow began locally shortly after noon Saturday, and the National Weather Service is currently predicting that between four to eight inches of snow could fall Saturday into early Sunday morning before things are all done.
According to the weather service, Hartford and Tolland County residents should expect temperatures in the mid-30s throughout Saturday afternoon, with temperatures dropping to the low-30s Saturday evening, which could cause some freezing and icing of roads. Winds will be from 15 to about 20 miles per hour during the afternoon Saturday, but gusts could reach upwards of 40 miles per hour as of Saturday night, according to the weather service. Since the snow is thick and fluffy, officials have also been warning that it could accumulate on tree branches, possibly bringing some of them down and causing power outages throughout the area.
The snow is predicted to taper off at about 9 a.m. Sunday morning, and temperatures to climb into the mid-40s Sunday afternoon, so the snow is not likely to still be on the ground come Halloween Monday.
As of 4 p.m., Connecticut Light & Power is reporting 91,424 of its 1,237,830 customers without power, or approximately 7 percent. Click here to see a full list of CL&P's power outages and track the power situation in your community.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is reporting that Route 44 over Avon Mountain is closed due to a high number of vehicular spinouts and accidents. Manchester Community College also announced that it planned to close its campus at 3 p.m. Saturday due to the storm.
The roads are already proving quite tricky to navigate, and reports of accidents and spinouts are coming in throughout the area. Motorists are being asked to use caution on roadways and avoid travel if at all possible Saturday.
Stick with Patch throughout the storm for the latest updates and closing information.
Please feel free to add your snow photos to the gallery, or email them to the editor at email@example.com.