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Stamford Declares Snow Emergency, Offers Free Parking In City Garages

Stamford Director of Public Safety, Health and Welfare Ted Jankowski leads a meeting of city officials in preparation of Saturday's snowstorm.
Stamford Director of Public Safety, Health and Welfare Ted Jankowski leads a meeting of city officials in preparation of Saturday's snowstorm. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

STAMFORD, Conn. — The city of Stamford is preparing for Saturday's snowstorm by declaring a snow emergency and offering free parking in city garages to help clear parked cars from city streets.

In anticipation of the storm, Mayor David Martin declared a snow emergency beginning at midnight Saturday. At that time, the city will begin to ticket and tow cars remaining on roads designated as snow emergency routes. See the full list here.

The city named three new snow emergency routes this year: They are the east side of Houston Terrace, the east side of the one-way portion of Knickerbocker Ave and Wenzel Terrace.

The city's three parking garages — Bell, Bedford and Summer — will not charge for parking after 6 p.m. Friday so residents can take their cars off the streets. The garages will remain free for the duration of the snow emergency, according to the city. 

The city is asking all residents — not just those parked on the snow emergency routes — to park their cars in a driveway or garage so snow plows can clear the streets.

Residents are asked to clear the snow around fire hydrants on their street and report downed trees to the city. They an call the police department's non-emergency line at 203-977-4444 or the citizen’s services at 203-977-4140, and, of course, 911 in an emergency.

In anticipation of the storm, the city is planning to beef up staffing of police, fire and emergency medical services. Belltown and Turn of River fire stations will have crew sleeping over in quarters, according to Fire Department Chief of Volunteer Services Robert Morris.

Stamford Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau said his department and its fleet of vehicles are ready to handle the storm.

“We are are prepared,” he said. “Our vehicles are ready to roll.” The police department has portable signs ready to deploy as well if needed, he said.

While Stamford has not declared a state of emergency, the city will deploy its reverse 911 system if needed to send out automated voice messages to city residents.

With moderate flooding expected in coastal areas, Stamford plans to close Cove Island and Cummings Point in anticipation of the storm. 

Fairfield County has been placed under a Winter Storm Watch from 6 a.m. Saturday until 1 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Fairfield County is expected to be hit with heavy snow, with accumulations of 4 to 6 inches, northerly wins of 15 to 20 mph with gusts of up to 30 mph, and temps in the mid-20s.

Visibility for drivers could be a half-mile or less at times. Significant snowfall combined with blowing and drifting could produce near-blizzard conditions, the National Weather Service said.

There is also a Coastal Flood Advisory in effect for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and a Coastal Flood Watch on Saturday evening along Long Island Sound.

High tides could be 1 to 3 feet above normal in the morning and 2 to 4 feet above normal in the evening. This could cause minor to moderate flooding on shore roads and properties.

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