BLIZZARD 9 P.M.: With driving ban, Shelton is a ghost town

SHELTON, 9:15 P.M.:  Downtown Shelton and most of the Bridgeport Avenue corridor already are looking like a ghost town as the state’s 9 p.m. travel ban goes into effect.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has declared a state of emergency in Connecticut, and banned all private cars from the roads beginning at 9 due to the blizzard.

It appears only an inch or two of snow has fallen so far in Shelton, but the snow intensity should pick up soon, with from 2 to 4 inches an hour possible in the middle of the night. Overall, the city could see 2 to 3 feet of snow by the end of Tuesday.

Accurately measuring the snow on the ground is difficult due to the strong winds, which also should strengthen as the night goes on.

A little before 9, Bridgeport Avenue was snow covered and slippery but certainly passable. Few cars were on the road — mostly, it was small pickup trucks with plows traveling up and down the main road. Private plows also could be seen making initial runs in shopping center parking lots.

Almost all restaurants, bars and stores are shut in the downtown area and along the Bridgeport Avenue corridor, with Walgreens and Stop & Shop being exceptions slightly before 9 p.m.

The VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center also was open on lower Bridgeport Avenue, ready to respond to pet owners’ emergency needs.