Updated 4:55 a.m. Sunday Oct. 30
Volunteer firefighters, ambulance crews, police and others stayed busy well into Saturday night and Sunday morning after heavy, wet snow wreaked havoc in Canton and throughout the state.
Numerous roads remained closed, including Route 179 and 4 into Unionville, and downed limbs elsewhere challenged ambulance crews on medical calls. In addition, phone lines appear to be down throughout the area and CL&P is reporting nearly all Canton customers without power.
Snow-related problems begin Saturday afternoon as a heavy wet snow moved in.
Police assisted motorists and responded to minor accidents while personnel from the town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department kept busy with downed power lines, wires on fire, trees on houses and other issues. Department of Public Works Crews were busy plowing and assisting with limbs when needed.
Shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday there was a two-car accident near on East Hill Road but no injuries were reported and earlier a car ran into a pole on Dowd Avenue near Dunham Road. The pole was snapped but no injuries were reported. Other minor car accidents and problems were also reported.
Other minor accidents and disabled vehicles were also reported.
On Atwater Road near Thayer Avenue, a tree fell on a house Saturday afternoon although little damage was reported. Another tree fell on a house in downtown Collinsville and later in the night one was reported on West Mountain Road.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday crews shut down a large part of Torrington Avenue after downed power lines caused problems and residents reported trees on fire. Shortly after a tree was reported blocking Gildersleeve Avenue.
Also shortly after 4 p.m. fire police were called to Lovely Street to help Avon with some downed wires. Later wires were also reported down elsewhere on the road in Canton and portions of the roads were closed. Similar situations were reported in numerous other areas including Secret Lake Road.
Transfomers routinely blew, often causing bright flashes of light.
Such problems multiplied and continued well into the night. Numerous tree fires, wires down and downed limbs forced crews to close down numerous roads.
Public Works crews and one contracted crew were out in full force since 1:30 p.m. Saturday First Selectman Richard Barlow said.
In addition to other problems, a tree fell down in the police department parking lot, damaging two vehicles, one significantly, he added.
As of 4:54 a.m. Sunday, Connecticut Light & Power was reporting 710,602 or 57 percent of its 1,237,830 customers without power. In Canton, it was 4,929 of 4,930 customers. Click here to see a full, updated list of CL&P's reported power outages.
The annual Halloween parade was canceled and Collinsville venues that had held onto plans for live music were forced to close and did most area businesses.
Today the National Weather Service is predicting a chance of snow, mainly before 9 am. with less than a half inch of new accumulation. Wind will be between 11 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.
Original Story (Appeared Saturday shortly after snow began)
OK, so all the weathermen’s predictions of a serious snowstorm hitting the area Saturday turned out not to be a dud after all.
In fact, current predictions indicate the storm could drop as much as four to eight inches of snow on the area through early Sunday morning.
The snow began locally shortly after noon Saturday, and the National Weather Service is currently predicting that between four to eight inches of snow could fall Saturday into early Sunday morning before things are all done.
According to the weather service, Hartford and Tolland County residents should expect temperatures in the mid-30s throughout Saturday afternoon, with temperatures dropping to the low-30s Saturday evening, which could cause some freezing and icing of roads. Winds will be from 15 to about 20 miles per hour during the afternoon Saturday, but gusts could reach upwards of 40 miles per hour as of Saturday night, according to the weather service. Since the snow is thick and fluffy, officials have also been warning that it could accumulate on tree branches, possibly bringing some of them down and causing power outages throughout the area.
The snow is predicted to taper off at about 9 a.m. Sunday morning, and temperatures to climb into the mid-40s Sunday afternoon, so the snow is not likely to still be on the ground come Halloween Monday.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is reporting that Route 44 over Avon Mountain is closed due to a high number of vehicular spinouts and accidents. Manchester Community College also announced that it planned to close its campus at 3 p.m. Saturday due to the storm.
The roads are already proving quite tricky to navigate, and reports of accidents and spinouts are coming in throughout the area. Motorists are being asked to use caution on roadways and avoid travel if at all possible Saturday.