Put away the tinsel and gift wrap and keep the salt and shovel handy. The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning for southern Fairfield County and the rest of the region. A blizzard warning is in effect from 6 a.m. Sunday through 6 p.m. Monday. Coastal and interior Connecticut should prepare for strong winds and heavy snow, with a possible accumulation of 11 to 16 inches. Near-zero visibility, large drifts and strong winds will combine to create hazardous travel conditions. In addition, the wind is expected to send Christmas decorations and tree limbs sailing into roads and walkways. The authorities caution against all but essential travel. If you are in a vehicle trapped by the blizzard, the state of Connecticut has issued this advice: ? Pull off the highway. Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window. ? Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. ? Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
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