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Digging Out: Up To 14 Inches Of Snow Buries Fairfield County

Thursday was all about shoveling as a quick-moving winter storm dumped a foot of snow across Fairfield County. Photo Credit: Karen Tensa
The Italian Ice & Ice Cream spot in Trumbull is — not surprisingly — closed during Thursday's storm. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
The new Trumbull Pharmacy is open for business during the storm — the drive-thru, too. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
The landscape is pretty bleak on Thursday, with gray skies, lots of flurries and the ground covered with snow. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs
Dunkin Donuts is open during the storm, but icy conditions caused this unhappy ending. Photo Credit: Roy Fuchs

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Thursday's snowy blast was the worst storm to strike Fairfield County in two years, at the end of it, most residents were buried under a foot or more of snow.

How did you spend your snow day?
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How did you spend your snow day?

  • Shoveling
  • Telecommuting
  • Playing with the kids
  • Sleeping
  • Watching Netflix
  • What snow day? I went to work

Many will still be digging out from the storm on Friday. Most school districts in Fairfield County will be opening with delays, and two districts — Stratford and Weston — are closed for Friday. (Click here to check the list.)  Residents who didn't dig out their cars and driveways will be in for a long, cold morning on Friday before heading to work.  

The snow began falling just before dawn on Thursday, and it intensified throughout the morning. At times the snowfall rate reached 2 to 3 inches per hours, according to the National Weather Service. Many residents were at home for the day, with all schools and many offices closed throughout the region.   

Few cars were on the roads and highways on Thursday. But Connecticut State Police reported it as a "crazy day for motorists, first responders, and wreckers." In the 12-hour stretch of the storm, troopers responded to 114 minor injury and no-injury crashes, and 652 spin-outs and stuck vehicles. ‬

A 59-year-old Bridgeport man died in a tragic shoveling accident as he cleared a walkway at an apartment building on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Miguel Gonzalez, a longtime doorman, slipped and fell down a short flight of stairs while shoveling. Gonzalez fell into a glass entryway and suffered severe cuts on his neck, throat and face. He died at a nearby hospital as a result of the injuries.

In Fairfield, a police officer and a fire crew came to the assistance of an elderly man who suffered a medical emergency. Fairfield Police Officer John McGrath and the crew from Fairfield Fire Department Engine 2 sprung into action, shoveling the man's walkway.

Fairfield was not the only town to receive a foot of snow — many towns reported snowfall totals in the double digits. Here are snowfall totals from a few locations in Fairfield County, as reported by the National Weather Service:

  • New Fairfield: 14 inches,7:30 p.m.
  • New Canaan: 13.0 inches, 5 p.m.
  • Brookfield: 12.7 inches, 6:30 p.m.
  • Bethel: 12.5 inches, 7:30 p.m.
  • Danbury: 12.0 inches, 5:15 p.m.
  • Weston: 12.0 inches, 4 p.m.
  • Shelton: 11.8 inches, 4:30 p.m.
  • Newtown: 11.1 inches, 4:25 p.m.
  • Norwalk: 11.0 inches, 6:15 p.m.
  • Bridgeport Airport: 10.3 inches, 4 p.m.

Here are the strong wind gusts recorded in Fairfield County, according to the Weather Service: 

  • Stamford: 45 mph, 12:50 p.m.
  • Bridgeport Airport: 45 mph, 12:49 p.m.
  • Stamford: 44 mph, 11:58 a.m.
  • Fairfield: 42 mph, 2:17 p.m.

The highest sustained wind in Fairfield County was recorded at 31 mph at Bridgeport Airport at 12:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service warned that blowing and drifting snow could cause hazardous travel conditions overnight and into the morning. Roads that had been cleared may once again become snow covered, and whiteout conditions were possible. Drivers were urged to use extra caution.

The overnight temperatures dropped to the mid-teens, with wind chill values near zero. 

There is a chance for flurries  Friday after 11a.m., with patchy blowing snow between until 1 p.m. It will be mostly sunny, with a high near 25, but wind chills will make it feel closer to 10 degrees.

More light snow is likely, mainly after 8 p.m. Friday with the temperature rising overnight to about 28 degrees. Less than an inch of new snow is expected. 

More light snow likely before 8 a.m. Saturday, which will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. 

On Sunday morning, snow and freezing rain will turn to rain by 10 a.m. It will be cloudy, with a high near 39. Little or no ice and snow accumulation is expected.

On Monday, more snow showers are possible in the early morning before temperatures rise to nearly 40 degrees under partly cloudy skies. 

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