HARTFORD, Conn. Just a day after declaring a state of emergency in Connecticut during a historic October snow that left more than 800,000 households without power, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has requested an emergency declaration from President Barack Obama.
"I have asked President Obama for federal assistance, and I am urging Connecticut residents to stay off the roads, let tree and DOT crews get out there, clean up and assess the damage," Malloy said. He made the emergency declaration request at about 1 p.m. Sunday to assist with cleanup and recovery efforts for the storm that has knocked out power to more people than during Hurricane Irene two months ago.
If granted, the declaration would give the state access to direct federal assistance, as well as reimbursement for 75 percent of certain emergency protective measures.
"Connecticut is now in the very first stages of recovering from a storm of a magnitude and at a time of year that we have never experienced before," Malloy said. "Hundreds of thousands of households are without power or heat, travel conditions remain dangerous, and damage to our electric infrastructure continues."
As of 11 a.m. the non-emergency travel ban for the Wilbur Cross/Merritt Parkway had been lifted. However, Malloy continues to advise residents to stay off the roads to allow for road clearance and for power crews to access impacted areas. If you must travel, use extreme caution because there are numerous trees and power lines down across the entire state, he said.
"People could be without power for a week," Malloy said during an 8:30 a.m. Sunday news conference. Officials with the major power companies warned residents to be prepared for "the worst" with even more power outages statewide than after Hurricane Irene in August.
"We are expecting extensive and long term power outages," Malloy said. "This is a historic storm; never before in anyone's recollection or anyone's review of history has such a storm hit the state so early."
Along the shoreline, the storm dropped 1 to 3 inches of snow. Inland totals ranged from 7 to 14 inches. In the higher elevations, snowfall topped 20 inches.
More than 822,000 households were without power across the state as of 1 p.m., with officials from Connecticut Light & Power Co. saying about 65 percent of its customers had been impacted and warning many will remain in the dark for a week or longer.
CL&P president Jeff Butler said, "There is an extensive amount of damage and restoration could take a week, possibility more in outlying areas." He said 45 transmission lines and 15 substations are damaged, indicating 300 line crews are working to restore power.
Malloy said there was also damage to 164 ATT cell phone towers that will result in "degraded service" beginning Sunday afternoon.
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