Life in West Hartford is slowly returning to normal after the blizzard that left more than two feet of snow on the ground, although it could take several more days for all roads to be wide enough for two cars to safely pass.
Assistant Superintendent Tom Moore announced Monday afternoon that schools would reopen on Tuesday. A news release from the town stated that all public school properties are open and accessible.
However, the town has issued this advice: "Parents and students are advised that bus stops and nearby sidewalks may not be cleared. Please use caution. Expect bus delays as drivers navigate slowly through narrowed roads."
Town and school employees clear the sidewalks on public property, but residents are responsible for clearing their own sidewalks. Town Ordinance 115-24 states, "Removal of snow and ice from premises where there is an established sidewalk is required by owners or occupants within 12 hours after a storm ends or within 12 hours after sunrise, whichever is later. The whole walk must be cleared, including curb cuts, handicapped ramps, and bus stop pads, etc."
According to a news release from the town, West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove said, "Police officers will begin issuing $79 tickets to residents who have not cleared their sidewalk by Wednesday, Feb. 13." Tickets will also be given to those who dump snow from sidewalks and driveways into the street.
The Department of Public Works provided the following update Monday afternoon: "We are getting closer and closer to a normal work schedule. The town is 90 percent clear with two travel lanes open. I would still be careful because some roads are narrow. Ten percent of our roads are passable with wide one lane opening," Director John Phillips said.
Public Works will continue work on those streets to improve the lane widths. According to Phillips, at 3 a.m. Tuesday work employees will be back at work hauling snow from parking lots, bridge decks, fire houses, dead ends and cul-de-sacs – work that could take several days.
He praised the work of the Department of Public Works in the recovery effort, and their "stamina and will to persevere."
Phillips said that some equipment needs to be rotated out of use and into the shop for needed repairs. "This storm has taken its toll on the equipment," he said.