Travel in Connecticut banned as of 5 a.m. Tuesday

Travel within Connecticut has been banned effective 5 a.m. Tuesday and lasting until further notice, with a blizzard expected to hit before Tuesday morning.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Monday signed an order proclaiming a civil preparedness emergency in Connecticut, with dangerous weather conditions expected to last throughout the day Tuesday.

Malloy is also fully activating the state’s Emergency Operations Center at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

All nonessential first and second-shift state employees have been ordered to not report to work Tuesday.

“Snowfall is expected to begin shortly before sunrise and will increase quickly, with peak blizzard conditions reached only several hours later. Everyone in Connecticut is urged to plan ahead — wherever you are at sunrise Tuesday morning, expect to remain there throughout the remainder of the storm and into the night,” Malloy said in a press release shortly before 5 p.m. Monday. “With snow coming down at rates in excess of three to four inches per hour at points and winds reaching as much at 60 miles per hour, white out conditions will severely limit visibility. Residents are urged to make safety a priority and to not make any attempt to travel.”

Malloy is encouraging everyone in Connecticut to continually monitor local media outlets throughout the day today and tomorrow as further announcements from the state regarding the storm will be made. The HAN Network will broadcast live at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The latest forecast has snowfall beginning between 3 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, with blizzard conditions expected by 9 a.m. With winds reaching as high as 50 miles per hour inland and 60 miles per hour on the coast, there will be whiteout conditions for as long as six hours during the day.

Snow is expected to taper off between 10 p.m. Tuesday and midnight Wednesday, with final accumulations of 10 to 15 inches along the southeast coast, 16 to 20 inches at the southwest coast, 20 to 28 inches across central and western Connecticut, and 24 to 30 inches in the northwest hills and higher elevations.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation spent Monday pre-treating roadways. The agency has 634 plow trucks and 250 private contract plow operators on standby to be called in if necessary. The state DOT is responsible for more than 10,000 lane miles of roads in Connecticut. More than 35,000 lane miles of roads are maintained by Connecticut cities and towns.

On Friday, Malloy activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, which directs certain state agencies to coordinate services that help the most vulnerable receive protection from the cold. It was scheduled to end on Monday morning, however he ordered the protocol to be extended through 8 a.m. Thursday, March 16. A listing of all available shelters and warming centers that have been opened throughout the state can be found by calling 2-1-1.

For continuous updates throughout the duration of the storm, visit the State of Connecticut’s official winter storm update website.