Malloy says expect inch of snow an hour at times

On Thursday evening, Gov. Dan Malloy assured residents that the state is well-prepared to handle the upcoming snow amounts but advised residents the cold is the issue he’s concerned with.

“We’re fully capable of handling this kind of storm — we’ve done so many times in the last few years,” Malloy said.

Speaking at a 5 p.m. press conference in Hartford, the governor suggested residents who need sheltering options call 2-1-1

Malloy said there are 140 utility crews on hand to handle any power outages. State offices will open later than usual for most state employees on Friday morning. Non-essential state workers should report to work at 9:30 a.m.

Though high tides might mean minimal flooding on shoreline towns, Malloy said the state is capable of handling any water problems that might arise along the coast.

Inch of snow an hour from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

Malloy said an inch of snow an hour is expected to fall from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and urged residents to stay off the roads.

He said Metro-North, Amtrak and public buses will continue to run but will likely have lighter-than-normal or delayed schedules.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for most of the state through Friday morning.

Emergency communications network activated

Under the state’s severe cold weather protocol, the state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security activates its web Emergency Operations Center communications network — an Internet-based system that allows local, regional and state emergency management officials and first responders to share up-to-date information about a variety of situations and conditions.

The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters across the state, enabling 2-1-1 to act as a clearing house to assist in finding shelter space for those who need it. Local officials, working through the center, can alert 2-1-1 and the state when they open temporary shelters or warming centers.

Shelter transportation issues

Department of Social Services coordinates with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, as well as working with existing vendors to resolve transportation issues for people needing shelter during the period of severe cold.

Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, meanwhile, has teams who specialize in working with homeless people to locate those who are at risk, spread the word about the 2-1-1 system, and encourage everyone to take advantage of the safety of shelters.

This state agency also is working with shelters to assess and meet the needs of individual clients during this cold snap.

Susan Shultz is editor of the Darien Times, another Hersam Acorn newspaper and website.