As a heavy snow storm approaches, Avon town officials are already getting ready for a possible blizzard.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for Avon from Friday afternoon to Saturday, but the storm is espected to affect the Farmington Valley as early as Thursday night.
Avon Public Works employees are monitoring the storm updates and have "inspected all of its fleet trucks and made sure that they are ready for the storm," Alex Trujillo, Public Works deputy director, said Thursday.
"Plows have been mounted, trucks have been fueled as well as facility generators and salt is ready to be loaded," Trujillo wrote in an email to Patch. "We will start pre-treating our roads as soon as the weather conditions call for it. Our staff is also prepared for the long duration of this storm."
Trujillo requests that Avon residents avoid driving during the storm if possible.
"I would also ask that no vehicles be parked on town roads and please advise children not to play in snow banks along the roads or in cul-de-sacs," Trujillo said. "If children see our trucks approaching, they should get as far away from the street’s edge as possible."
Avon's Emergency Operation Center has not been opened yet, but Emergency Management Director James DiPace wrote in an email to Patch Thursday that emergency officials are "monitoring the storm forecasts and will open the EOC if events require it."
"Residents can go to our website for winter weather tips," DiPace said. "Now is the time to prepare."
Here are some winter storm preparation tips from the town of Avon:
- Make sure your family has a storm plan.
- Be prepared for possible power outages.
- Turn the thermostat up a few degrees so "your home will stay warm longer." Keep the house warm.
- Gather any "alternate heating sources" before the storm.
- Set your refrigerator on a colder temperature so "it will stay colder longer."
- Have a flashlight handy and spare batteries.
- If you use candles, be careful.
- Check in on your neighbors, "especially the elderly."
- Call the routine Avon police dispatch phone number at 860-409-4200 if you need a shelter provided. Avon High School serves as the town's primary emergency shelter if the town deems it necessary.
The town also asks that residents keep their house numbers visible during the storm in the event of an emergency.
Some cancellations and closures have already been announced due to the storm. The Avon Landfill will be closed on Saturday because of the impending snow storm and will be open for regular hours on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Town Council's Saturday budget workshop has been canceled.
At Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating, the state's two major utilities, are gearing up for the storm. Spokesmen at both companies said the major concern is the high winds the storm is expected to bring - gusts of up to 60 miles per hour - and the possibility that warm air pushing up from the south could mean a heavy, wetter snow in some regions.
Mitchell Gross, CL&P's spokesman said his utility has issued an "all hands on deck" alert to its workers, is holding meetings throughout the today with workers and expect to have "hundreds and hundreds" of line and tree crews on duty to deal with outages that could occur this weekend.
Gross, however, cautioned that crews will not be able to restore power during the storm or when the winds are high because of the dangers that could create.
"Our line workers and tree workers will be out there as long as it's safe," he added.
How are you preparing for the winter storm? If you take any photos tonight or tomorrow, please consider uploading them to avon.patch.com/pics or email Jessie.Sawyer@patch.com.