Connecticut’s northern counties brace for weekend wintry weather

Public works crews will be ready to pre-treat the roads on Sunday evening, but are advising people to stay home if they can.

TORRINGTON, Connecticut – The winter storm from Sunday evening to Monday morning will impact the entire state, but all eyes are on Litchfield County where it can receive up to six inches of snow.

Business owners, officials and residents are ready to do what it takes to weather the storm and the freezing temperatures.

“Only excited if we can get 12, 14 or 16 inches,” said Jon Barbagallo, public information officer for the Norfolk Fire Department.

If you live in what they call the “Connecticut icehouse”, also known as the city of Norfolk, winter weather might not be a big deal.

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However, any type of snow forecast is an exciting time for residents.

“I make sure my firewood is ready to go and the woodstove and I have everything ready to go in case we lose power,” Barbagallo added.

Freezing temperatures and giant snowstorms are the norm up there, and adapting is easy.

“One of the ways we do that is by curling here at Norfolk Curling Club and it’s a great way to get exercise in the winter and stay warm at the same time,” Barbagallo added.

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In Hartford County, preparation and panic quickly set in.

Even though the storm is two days away, supermarkets like Stew Leonard’s in Newington have noticed more people than usual.

“We usually see like a 30% increase in sales just because of a snow storm, so mostly it’s also a holiday weekend, Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday on Monday, so that’s usually a busy weekend in general, but in addition with a snowstorm or potential for a snowstorm, it could be very crowded,” said Jenn Polaski, manager of Newington’s Stew Leonard’s.

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Polaski told FOX61 that whenever a storm is around the corner, shoppers turn to food for comfort.

“Yeah we definitely added cashiers, we talked about that before, so on Sunday we definitely added because it will be the last busiest chance,” Polaski added.

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Michael Looney, the director of Hartford’s public works department, said he received an additional 500 tons of salt, which is more than enough to get through at least January.

Crews will begin pre-treating the roads around 7-8 p.m. Sunday with up to 27 trucks in full force and 60 people at work.

“A few of our neighborhoods that have a number of hills that we need to pay more attention to when we lounge during storms – that’s something we need to watch out for and of course the decks get cold sooner than the other surfaces,” Looney said.

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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