Middletown — and the majority of Connecticut — will soon be under a winter storm warning from 4 a.m. Thursday to 1 p.m. Friday issued by the National Weather Service, which calls for near blizzard conditions at the storm's height.
A coastal storm will bring a potential for heavy snow and a blizzard warning for Thursday night into Friday morning, the National Weather Service predicts with strong winds and dangerously cold wind chills through Friday afternoon.Six to 10 inches of snow are forecast for Middletown, with one to two inches falling through Thursday morning's rush hour, according to the NWS, followed by a lull. The most amount of snowfall is expected to be Thursday night into Friday morning.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is urging residents to take it slow and avoid travel during the height of the storm Thursday night.
He has directed the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable people are protected from the severe cold weather.
Wind chills are expected to range from -5 to -20 degrees Thursday night and Friday. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for most of the state through Friday morning.
Here in Middletown, at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 381 Main Street, a warming center is open seven days a week from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Although it is not a shelter, the warming center provides hot beverages and a temporary respite from the cold for those in need. Personal belongings are allowed but storing items is not permitted.
"I am asking residents to use caution as they head out for their Thursday and Friday commutes and give yourself some extra time to get to your destination," Malloy said. "I am also asking that you avoid travel during the height of the storm Thursday night.
"We are also taking steps to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter. I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.
"State emergency management officials are preparing for the potential impacts of this severe weather and continue to provide me with regular updates."
Under the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, DEMHS activates its WebEOC communications network – an internet-based system that allows local, regional and state emergency management officials and first responders to share up-to-date information about a variety of situations and conditions. The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters across the state, enabling 2-1-1 to act as a clearinghouse to assist in finding shelter space for those who need it. Local officials, working through WebEOC, can alert 2-1-1 and the state when they open temporary shelters or warming centers.
DSS coordinates with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, as well as working with existing vendors to resolve transportation issues for people needing shelter during the period of severe cold.
DMHAS, meanwhile, has teams who specialize in working with homeless people to locate those who are at risk, spread the word about the 2-1-1 system, and encourage everyone to take advantage of the safety of shelters. The agency is also working with shelters to assess and meet the needs of individual clients during this cold snap.