New Haven area well prepared for first big storm of the season

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NEW HAVEN - Towns around New Haven were well prepared for Saturday night's snow.

"This morning when the snow started, we were ready to go," said West Haven Mayor Ed O'Brien. "And we've been plowing the streets ever since."

In West Haven, a total of 18 trucks are out clearing city streets. The high tide Saturday morning luckily did not make the storm more complicated.

"The tide was very high this morning," said O'Brien. "So it came just about up to street level along our shore, but it never actually crossed the street."

In East Haven, there's a warning from Fire Chief Doug Jackson about cars parked near the water.

"Some of the places that are on the edge where we're getting some water on a couple of the roads that usually go under, make sure your car is in a safe place for the evening," said Jackson. "Because if you go to bed before that, you may find a bad surprise."

The East Haven Fire Department was staffed with a couple extra firefighters Saturday night, helping to man a plow truck that can guide ambulances down unplowed streets and driveways. Otherwise, the department was having a relatively quiet night.

"It takes us a little longer to get places," said Jackson. "We have trouble sliding around getting places as well, but other than that, it's kind of like a regular snow storm."

In New Haven, 45 crews are out plowing the city's 221 miles of roadway. New Haven Emergency Management Deputy Director Rick Fontana is asking everyone to make sure their cars are out of the way of the plows.

"If you don't have anywhere that you have to be, if you're not taking your wife to the hospital to deliver a baby, we'd ask you to stay off the roads and just give our crews some time to get the roads clear," said Fontana. "And you can rest assured that we'll try to get everything back to normal by tomorrow."

O'Brien is also asking residents to stay indoors.

"Help your neighbors if your neighbors need help shoveling, if they have elderly neighbors or handicapped neighbors, give them a hand," said O'Brien. "Just stay home, stay off the roads. Enjoy the storm from inside your home."

O'Brien also wanted to thank West Haven residents for cooperating with parking bans and staying indoors. A parking ban for even sides of the street remains in effect in West Haven until further notice. Municipal lots are free to park in tonight.

In New Haven, a parking ban takes effect at midnight Sunday until noon on Sunday. Parking is free Saturday night in the city's Grand Square Parking Garage.