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West Hartford Schools Will Be Closed Friday, No Plans to Open Shelter Immediately

Blizzard watch is upgraded to a warning on Thursday afternoon, with 18-24 inches of snow plus heavy winds forecast for the area.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore has announced that all West Hartford Public Schools will be closed for the day on Friday, Feb. 8.

On Thursday afternoon, a Blizzard Watch for northern Connecticut was upgraded to a Blizzard Warning. According to the National Weather Service, snowfall of 18 to 24 inches is anticipated, with wind gusts up to 60mph possible. Snow is supposed to begin early Friday morning, with the heaviest accumulation occuring overnight Friday into Saturday.

West Hartford issued a parking ban, which will take effect at 8 a.m. on Friday. Town Manager Ron Van Winkle said that the gates will be up in the town parking lots and residents will be permitted to park cars there if no other alternatives are available.

The town is not planning to open a shelter on Friday. "The safest place is in your house," Van Winkle said. He said the situation will be reassessed after the storm depending on the significance of power outages. Van Winkle is hopeful that it will not be necessary to open a shelter.

Extra police and fire will be on duty, and the plows are full of gas and ready to go, Van Winkle said.

West Hartford does not anticipate opening its Emergency Operations Center on Friday, but Van Winkle said that it may open on Saturday if warranted.

The MDC has announced that the Farmington Avenue Reservoir and Reservoir #6 on Albany Ave. will be closed on Friday due to the impending storm.

Although the storm is expected to be of historic proportions, Van Winkle recommends that people be prepared but not panic, and enjoy the snow. "It's a winter storm, and we're used to dealing with this weather. It's a big storm, no doubt about it, but most of the snow is expected to fall during the night and we will be out plowing all night."

"Take precautions, but enjoy it. It's a New England storm, part of our heritage."

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