As of 8 a.m. Saturday, the Town of West Hartford issued a State of Emergency, and has imposed a complete driving ban on all town roads.
"It looks like you can go out, but cars are getting stuck everywhere. Even 4-wheel-drive vehicles," said Mayor Scott Slifka Saturday morning. He said that National Guard may be assisting with clean-up efforts in West Hartford.
Slifka said that people, thinking that they can drive, have been leaving their houses this morning, and then getting stuck. Even large snow removal equipment has been getting stuck.
"This is seriously impeding the Department of Public Works from getting through to clear the roads. Even worse, it can impede police and other emergency vehicles from getting through," said Slifka.
At 5:15 a.m., Director of Public Works John Phillips said in an email, "We are giving blizzard 'whatever its name is' everything we have, but fatigue has set in with most drivers. I have no choice but to force rest period for my most diehard plow operators. Travel is IMPOSSIBLE and will be for some time to come. We cannot even begin to put a time frame on restoration. Our own trucks are getting stuck because of extremely poor visibility and extraordinary amounts of snow, both accumulation and drifts."
By 8:15, Phillips reported that although 95 percent of arterial roads had been cleared after an incredible 18 hours of work, residents need to heed the requirement to stay off the roads.
There are still 5-foot-high "snow windows" at almost every cross street, and Phillips said that even the largest snow plows have been getting stuck clearing West Hartford's streets.
"We have a large loader with chains dedicated to respond to stuck calls," Phillips said..
Vehicles abandoned on the roads last night are being removed by the West Hartford police.
"I realize when folk look out their window it may seem like that we will never come. Please be patient, we are working hard to get to every neighborhood and all true emergencies are the top priority," said Phillips. "To reiterate our goal right now – we are spot on focused on opening every road in town, passable in two direction, but travel lanes will be narrow. We can do the impossible, however we cannot make miracles."
The message received from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, issued in a news release early this morning, reads: "It's critical right now that residents stay off the roads, so that our plows can continue their efforts to clear our streets and highways. This is a record setting storm. It's going to take time to dig out of the snow. Stalled or abandoned vehicles will only slow that process. Unless you face an emergency, please stay put."