Text of Mayor Scott Jackson’s Feb. 10 automated call:
As you’ve seen in the news, Hamden had the highest snowfall of any town in the Tri-State region. In fact, with the highest snowfall in over 40 years, this storm exceeded the legendary Blizzard of 1978. We are fortunate that there has been no loss of life, no significant property damage and no widespread power outages.
Hamden crews continue to work around the clock on the long process of digging out from this historic storm. Our crews have been on the job since Friday morning and will continue through the weekend and beyond. As of Sunday afternoon, more than 50 percent of local roads still remain impassible – but every effort is being made to improve this percentage.
Major roadways, including Dixwell Avenue, Whitney Avenue, Shepard Avenue, Putnam Avenue, Evergreen Avenue, Circular Avenue, State Street, and Hartford Turnpike are passable, but motorists should proceed with caution as lane widths are narrowed.
The amount and rate of snowfall during the blizzard made regular plowing alone impossible, because there is simply no place to push the snow without hopelessly burying driveways and sidewalks. In addition, most of our heavy equipment was not even able to get up roads without getting stuck and slowing our efforts to assist our emergency police, fire and medical vehicles get where they needed to be.
Instead, Hamden has been using loaders to push the snow where possible and then move snow from streets to piles which you will start to see throughout Town. The process is slower but ultimately more effective for residents. We have contracted with multiple private entities to augment our equipment already, and the Town has requested National Guard assistance with snow removal.
With extensive effort, further additional equipment from out of state private contractors have been secured and will be en route to Hamden very shortly.
Governor Malloy just visited our Town and we met with our emergency management team. The governor has pledged additional assistance and resources to Hamden and we will be working together to coordinate efforts that will help our residents.
I have been gratified with how understanding and patient most residents have been. We have seen Hamden at it’s best with neighbors helping neighbors in the best community spirit. I also understand that as recovery enters day 3, some frustration, impatience or just plain cabin fever may start to build. Please help aid the recovery by staying off the roads if at all possible. The more people can stay off the roads the faster our crews will be able to make them passable.
As always, residents facing true emergencies should dial 911.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning from blocked vents has become a real concern. If you know where your vent is located, make sure it isn’t blocked. If you know of elderly neighbors with blocked vents, please try to assist them if you can. Please call the Emergency Operations Center at 203-230-4000 with questions. Also, please take special care when shoveling in these conditions.
There is serious health risks associated with shoveling improperly in this weather and with this volume. We want to make roads and sidewalks clear – but we want you to stay healthy first and foremost.
Hamden Public Works has been in continuous operation since 7am on Friday, and will remain in storm mode until all streets are cleared – 24-7. This could be a long process. We will continue to provide additional information in every way possible, including through local media, the town website and social media throughout the day on Facebook, Town of Hamden, CT. Our online efforts will be updated as information becomes available throughout the day and night.
I hope that this information is helpful and commit to you that Hamden will continue to work around the clock to clear out our roads and make our Town safe from this snow event of a lifetime. Please share this information with affected family or neighbors who may not have seen or heard this information.
Mayor Scott D. Jackson