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Greater Danbury braces for big one

Updated 10:11 pm, Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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  • Jay Washburn, of Fairfield, buys a bucket of salt and a roof rake ahead of the approaching storm Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 at Hemlock Hardware on the Post Road in Fairfield, Conn. Photo: Autumn Driscoll / Connecticut Post
    Jay Washburn, of Fairfield, buys a bucket of salt and a roof rake ahead of the approaching storm Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 at Hemlock Hardware on the Post Road in Fairfield, Conn. Photo: Autumn Driscoll

 

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With a major storm bearing down on Connecticut, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton put a light spin on the expected heavy snowfall.

In a brief video he tweeted Wednesday, Boughton said, "Kids, you don't need this," before tossing a pencil over his shoulder and picking up a shovel. "School's canceled. Get those shovels and get your sleds."

The National Weather Service predicted the storm could pile 8 to 10 inches of snow and mixed precipitation along the Interstate 95 corridor. Total accumulations of more than a foot were forecast for areas near Danbury and Brewster, N.Y.

Municipalities were making plans, including Danbury's school cancellations, based on heavy snowfall projections.

Newtown officials said Clerk Debbie Halstead would post information about any closings on the town's newtown-ct.gov website.

The only "essential" on-duty staff in Newtown were to be police officers and dispatchers as well as public work crews, which are required to plow snow, officials said.

In New Fairfield, officials decided early to close town offices and the public library and to postpone the Board of Selectmen meeting scheduled for Thursday until next week.

Metro-North said Wednesday evening that it would run at about 75 percent of normal capacity on Thursday. Some local and express trains that serve adjacent stations would be combined and make additional stops, the railroad said.

Metro-North said it was making the changes because it expected that fewer people would be riding the train that day, and to minimize the time that rail equipment is exposed to the severe weather. The railroad said it's aim would be to get people to their destinations Thursday within 10 to 15 minutes of their normal time.

Local and state officials were bracing for the storm's impacts late Wednesday afternoon, with many towns declaring snow emergencies and school districts canceling Thursday. At full list of cancellations can be found at newstimes.com/closings.

In a briefing with state media Wednesday night, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said non-essential state employees were to report to work at 10 a.m. Thursday, but that status was subject to change. Malloy said the state emergency operations center would be activated at 6 a.m. Thursday.

"The reality is that this is an unusual storm with variables that are quite significant," Malloy said, referring to the uncertainty in some weather forecasts about when the storm will hit hardest and how much of it will be rain or snow and ice.

Jury duty for all state courts has also been canceled.

Staff Writer Ken Dixon contributed to this report.