Saturday storm notes and pictures….

10-year old triplets Lucas, Maxwell and Evan Kaye enjoy the post-blizzard clean up on Main Street Saturday. —Photo by dad, Steve Kaye

6:30 p.m. — Gov. Malloy has submitted a request for a presidential emergency declaration in the wake of Friday’s historic winter storm. “As we continue with the recovery from this historic winter storm, I am asking the federal government to provide us assistance with this process,” said Governor Malloy. “If granted, this declaration would provide much needed help to our state.” If granted, the emergency declaration will provide for direct federal assistance, including possible snow removal equipment and personnel, power generation, and other commodities. The governor’s office said, “An emergency declaration does not provide federal disaster funding. Because it appears that most if not all counties have received record or near record snowfall, it is anticipated that a preliminary damage assessment will be conducted to determine if those counties are eligible for a major disaster declaration.”

4:30 — Nancy O’Connell of nancy O says, “I’d like to propose that we make tomorrow a spontaneous big day to come shop & have fun in Ridgefield. I am not ordinarily open on Sunday , but I plan to be here tomorrow. I will open tomorrow at noon, serve coffee and Valentine treats, and have a 20% off everything sale. I’ll promote through e-mail blast and Facebook postings, and hope to make up some of the lost revenues from the past two days. Let the groundswell  begin, right now, to promote this day. People have got to have cabin fever by now, so let’s give them something to do.” Among the other stores that will be open are Craig’s Fine Jewelry, 11:00 – 3:00 with 20% storewide (some exclusions); Olley Court, featuring one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day gifts; Little House Shoppe will be open; Lucy’s: an additional 20% off already reduced sales items, 40% off all jewelry; Turkey Ridge, open noon to 4, will raffle off a life-size vintage style “Frosty the Snowman”; Books on the Common, 11 to 5, customers who spend $40 or more will receive a $5 gift certificate against their next purchase; Planet Pizza will provide free garlic knots for every patron

4:25 — All power is back on in Ridgefield, though many other towns in Fairfield County have outages today because of the high winds.

Andrew Murphy of Jefferson Drive sends us a picture of a masterful snow sculpture appropriate to the blizzard.

Linney, Kai, Eden and Trey O’Malley sledding at Ridgebury School this afternoon.

4 — Stan Baldyga writes, “The Blizzard Nemo was a piece of cake..I lived through the Hurricane of 1938 and it was more devastating. I was in the 6th grade at St. Michael’s school in Bridgeport and a window blew out into the classroom, crashing onto the desks. Fortunately the nun had just told us to move moments before so no personal injuries resulted. Divine intervention spared us.”

3:25 — Governor Malloy just announced that the travel ban will be lifted at 4PM. This will apply to all roads, including limited access highways. “While we are lifting the ban on travel this afternoon at 4PM, I still want to urge residents to stay off the roads if at all possible,” said Governor Malloy. “Crews are out clearing roadways as we speak, but the fact is we are going to feel the impact of this storm for some time. The longer we can keep traffic out of town centers and off of our highways, the more effective our recovery effort will be. ” Many had been ignoring the ban anyway.

A flock of at least a half dozen bluebirds has been enjoying a feeder on Olmstead Lane for the past couple of weeks. Today, they were especially hungry. Here is a male and female pair.

11:35 — Some readers appear unclear about the governor’s ban on travel. It applies to ALL roads in the state. That means every little lane in Ridgefield, be it a back road or Main Street. Does it apply to private plows? The statement from the governor’s office, which is below at 6 a.m., did not make an exception for private plows. However, many private plows are out and about, and we have not heard of the police stopping them.

11:30 — Weather station at Ridgefield Academy is reporting a 45 mph gust in the past half hour.

11:26 — CL&P is reporting a power failure affecting 19 customers in Ridgefield.

11:25 — Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra concert tonight has been canceled.

11:10 — Governor Malloy, in a press conference at 11, says he anticipates the ban on travel on all roads to remain in effect at least through today.

9:10 — The Aldrich Museum and ROAR are closed today.

“Transportation during Nemo” from Jill Longo

9 a.m. — A 38 mph gust has been recorded at the Ridgefield Academy weather station in the last hour.

The governor has closed all roads in the state this morning. This is West Lane at 7:15. —Press photo

7:15 Mary Rindfleisch of the Ridgefield Library says, ““We are going to follow the governor’s orders and keep everyone off the roads. So the Library is closed Saturday morning. If that changes later in the day, we’ll let you know.”

6 a.m. — Governor Malloy has ordered all roads in Connecticut closed until further notice. In an announcement emailed at 5:33 this morning, the governor said this traffic ban extends to all vehicles except for those emergency response and recovery vehicles with the capacity to maneuver in heavy snow. “It’s critical right now that residents stay off the roads, so that our plows can continue their efforts to clear our streets and highways,” said Governor Malloy.  “This is a record setting storm.  It’s going to take time to dig out of the snow.  Stalled or abandoned vehicles will only slow that process.  Unless you face an emergency, please stay put.”

5 a.m. SUMMARY — While 15 inches of snow is covering the town this morning, Ridgefield has done well in the Blizzard of ’13. Snow has stopped, and there are no power failures reported in town at this hour; in fact, hardly any power is out in western Connecticut. The southeastern part of the state, much heavier hit by the blizzard, has major outages. Police report that most roads are clear, though some still need to be plowed out. Police recommend people stay home until further clearing and road preparation is done. Town and state highway crews have been working most of the night. While snow had stopped by 5, there were forecasts of possible snow showers to come and winds are creating some drifting. While wind has been blowing steadily through the night, the highest gust recorded at the Ridgefield Academy weather station was only 30 mph, slightly less than the top gust of 32 yesterday.  Metro North has suspended service until further notice.

A National Weather Service radar map showing snow earlier this morning.

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