Westport Patch will post updates to this "hub" article throughout Winter Storm Hercules, including how things are going in town and links to all separate articles published on the site.
[UPDATE – 4:45 a.m.] Westport schools have been closed due to inclement weather.
[UPDATE - 10:15 p.m.] Wilton Road, between Newtown Turnpike and Chestnut Hill Road, has been closed, according to Westport Police.
Police are asking all drivers to avoid the area.
[UPDATE - 9 p.m.] MTA-MNRR [Metro-North Railroad]; will make the following changes due to the projected impact of Winter Storm Hercules.
Tonight, Thursday, Jan. 2, we will operate a regular schedule until 8 PM. After 8 PM, we will operate hourly service (making all stops). After midnight,
we will operate a schedule with train combinations and cancellations to
prevent trains from becoming stranded during the storm.
On the New Haven Line:
- The 8:33 PM train from Stamford to Grand Central Terminal is canceled. Customers may take the 8:03 PM or 9:03 PM trains from Stamford to Grand Central Terminal.
- The 9:33 PM train from Stamford to Grand Central Terminal is canceled. Customers may take the 9:03 PM or 10:03 PM trains from Stamford to Grand Central Terminal.
- The 8:04 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 8:07 PM train to New Haven.
- The 9:10 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 8:40 PM or 9:40 PM trains to Stamford.
- The 9:34 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 9:07 PM or 10:07 PM trains to New Haven.
- The 10:10 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 9:40 PM or 10:40 PM trains to Stamford.
- The 10:31 PM train to New Haven is canceled. Customers may take the 10:07 PM or 11:22 PM trains to New Haven.
- The 11:10 PM train to Stamford is canceled. Customers may take the 10:40 PM or 11:40 PM trains to Stamford.
- The 12:07 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 12:09 AM train to Stamford, which will make all local stops to New Haven.
- The 1:07 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 1:09 AM train to Stamford, which will make all local stops to New Haven.
- The 1:47 AM train to New Haven is combined with the 1:53 AM train to Stamford, which will make all local stops to New Haven.
[UPDATE - 6 p.m.] First Selectman Jim Marpe has issued the following statement concerning tonight's winter storm.
"The first winter storm of 2014 is expected later today and will continue through Friday. There are several factors that may make this storm dangerous:
- Expected snow accumulations of 6-10 inches will make driving dangerous late Thursday night into Friday morning.
- Strong winds may result in downed electrical lines and loss of power.
- Frigid temperatures may create additional hardships for some of our citizens, particularly the elderly.
"Proactive measures have been taken to prepare for the storm:
- Snow plows and supplies are ready. Key personnel will remain at a Public Works facility to ensure our streets become passable for emergency vehicles and residents in the shortest period possible.
- The Westport Senior Center (21 Imperial Avenue) will be open until 8 p.m. tonight and will remain open later if necessary as a warming center.
- CL&P is in continual contact with the town’s emergency management staff and will have additional resources available to repair electrical problems.
- Westport’s Emergency Operations Center is monitoring the situation and will provide emergency updates as necessary.
"It is recommended that residents take the following precautions:
- Avoid driving tonight and Friday morning.
- Stock up on water, food, supplies, and flashlights in the event of a power outage.
- Check on neighbors who may require additional assistance.
- Subscribe to Westport’s CodeRED system at https://cne.coderedweb.com/ or NIXLE at http://www.nixle.com/ to be notified of emergency situations.
"The safest place to spend this evening is warm at home. However, if you are using your fireplace or woodstove, please use utmost caution and let the ashes remain in the fireplace for several days until there are no remaining hot embers. If you use portable space heaters in your home, be extremely careful and remember that space heaters require SPACE—nothing that can burn should be within three feet of any part of the heater."
[UPDATE - 4:30 p.m.] Heavy snowfall is on its way in a hurry! Click here to upload your photos from today and tomorrow's storm on Westport Patch, or download the Patch mobile app and add the photo directly from your phone.
[UPDATE - 3 p.m.] The Westport Public Library will close at 6 p.m. Thursday due to inclement weather. Residents are encouraged to check the library's website for an opening time Friday.
[ORIGINAL STORY - 11 a.m.] Light snow has begun to fall across Fairfield County Thursday, as an early morning dusting will give way to near-blizzard-like conditions and the potential for up to 10 inches of snow Thursday evening into Friday.
A Winter Storm Warning and Coastal Flood Advisory have been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) and will remain in effect throughout the duration of the storm, which has been dubbed Winter Storm Hercules.
Some snow is expected throughout the day but the bulk of the snow is expected to fall Thursday evening into Friday morning. There will be sustained northeast winds of 15 to 25 mph causing wind chills of up to 15 degrees below zero.
Near blizzard conditions are forecast from Thursday night into Friday morning in southern Connecticut, according to the NWS. Six to 10 inches of snow are forecast with winds gusting to 35 mph causing whiteout conditions with visibility limited to a quarter to a half-mile.
Wednesday Gov. Dannel P. Malloy urged "residents to take it slow and avoid travel during the height of the storm Thursday night.”