UPDATE: List of passable streets released by mayor’s office, www.bridgeportct.gov/content/87201/137292.aspx. Mayor Bill Finch announced Sunday night:
– President Barack Obama declared Connecticut a disaster area today after a record-setting snowstorm wreaked havoc throughout the Northeast and dumped 30 inches of snow on Bridgeport in 24 hours.
“Due to the historic nature of this storm, we are asking for residents to please be patient while our crews work hard to clear the streets,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “We understand that this has been a very stressful time for many in our City, so we have laid out the following timeline for road clearing operations:
· Major roads are expected to be cleared by Tuesday or Wednesday;
· Secondary roads are expected to be cleared by Thursday or Friday; and,
· All remaining residential roads are expected to be cleared by Saturday or Sunday.
The state’s largest city is a mess, as folks try to dig their way out or in many instances are at the mercy of city crews trying to make progress. You know it’s bad when hospital areas weren’t passable Sunday morning. Some employees of Bridgeport Hospital were forced to walk miles to home. Mayor Bill Finch, who called on and is receiving clean-up help from the National Guard, announced Sunday, “A travel ban is still in effect in the City of Bridgeport and will be in effect until further notice. People must stay off the roads in the City to allow plow crews to do their work. We need everyone’s cooperation to get the streets clear. Please do not drive on City streets.”
Cars throughout the city were abandoned by drivers. Numerous side streets are impassable with cars snowed under as the snow overwhelmed. Many folks are trapped inside their homes. The good news, President Obama has declared a disaster declaration for the state so municipalities can apply for storm cost reimbursement. Let us know what’s going on out there.
Sunday update from Mayor Bill Finch:
Following a record-setting snow storm that dumped 30 inches of snow on Bridgeport in 24 hours, Mayor Bill Finch today ordered a local travel ban into effect for all City streets, and has instructed police to ticket offenders. The travel ban will continue until further notice.
“While the Governor has lifted his travel ban, we are still working hard to clear main arteries and snow emergency streets leading to our hospitals and fire stations. We need drivers to stay off the roads and allow our snow plowing crews to do their work,” said Mayor Finch.
Public works crews, with the assistance of private contractors using bulldozers and payloaders, will work through the night to continue opening streets to allow first responders and public safety vehicles greater access.
The Snow Emergency Parking Ban remains in effect until further notice. Plow crews are concentrating on clearing major roads and snow emergency streets leading to hospitals, fire stations and other critical infrastructure areas. As those areas are cleared, crews will move on to secondary roads.
“We are asking everyone to have patience and to stay inside until snow plows can make their way down City streets,” said Mayor Finch.
According to Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr., those who do choose to venture out will be subject to fines and towing for attempting to travel on city streets that have not been cleared.
Mayor Finch put out a call to private contractors and to leaders in other towns, which were not hit as hard to assist the City with its snow removal efforts by sending heavy equipment and operators. Mayor Finch has also asked anyone who would like to volunteer the use of a snowmobile to assist first responders to call the City’s Emergency Operations Center at 203.579.3829.
Mayor Finch urged people to help their neighbors. “I’ve already heard stories of city residents bringing stranded people into their homes for shelter at the height of the storm,” he said. “This morning, emergency workers found a man collapsed in the snow and brought him into a nearby house as public works cleared a path for an AMR vehicle to get him to the hospital.”
“People only need to look out their windows to see the magnitude of this storm,” Finch said. “We have a plan in motion with realistic expectations, but digging out will take time. Be patient. Be kind to your neighbors.”
State Rep. Auden Grogins, trying to get answers about cleanup crews, posted this update on Facebook:
Hi Everyone- here is the am update.
Unfortunately it is not great news. I just got off the phone with our Public Works Director. He said that because this was a blizzard of epic proportions they had to reach out to outside contractors in other states for help. Bridgeport did not have enough heavy equipment available to handle this amount of snow. They have many outside contractors working now but they have run into other problems which have interfered with plowing. The first being people who have left cars in the street that needed to be towed and blocked the machinery. As a result, they had to hire towing firms to tow these cars away. This is an issue across the City apparently. Yesterday they had to assist ambulances and emergency issues. Later today they will be plowing main roads and then they will get to the side roads. He said they still cannot give me time estimates for our area. I will check in tonight for another update. I wish there was something more I could do or tell you but I can’t. I am home bound and going crazy like all of you.