Updated February 14, 2014 at 9:15 a.m.
HARTFORD — You might have to spend Valentine’s Day indoors, thanks to the severe winter storm that has blanketed most of the Mid-Atlantic.
As the Greater Hartford area gets clobbered with snow and wind, Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra late Thursday announced that he is extending the existing snow emergency parking ban until 4 p.m. on February 14th.
All Hartford Public Schools will be closed. All city offices, Board of Education Central Offices and City of Hartford Early Learning Centers will open at 10 a.m.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday also declared a State of Emergency in an attempt for the state to pursue a request to the federal government to help some municipalities in Connecticut that are experiencing road salt shortages for the remainder of this winter season.
Today’s winter storm snow is the twelfth of the season.
According to reports, about 9-and-a-half inches of snow fell on Newark, New Jersey; and Bridgeport, Connecticut; with nearly 8 inches piling up at New York’s LaGuardia Airport by s of 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The National Weather Service said the Storm Pax focused on New England in the early hours of Friday morning and was likely to push farther northeast with tapering snowfall.
Widespread heavy snowfall at a rate of one to two inches per hour (2.5-5 cms) and gusting winds reached across northern and central parts of New England, NWS meteorologists said.
“This storm is not over yet, more snow is expected tomorrow morning,” said Mayor Segarra. “Snow clean-up continues but I want to remind residents not to throw snow back into the streets. The parking ban will remain in effect until 4pm. I urge everyone who has used a school parking lot to make arrangements to move their cars as soon as possible after 4pm tomorrow.”
Since 12:01 a.m. Thursday, AAA’s Roadside Rescue Team has received 527 calls for emergency road service in Greater Hartford and eastern Connecticut (Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, Windham and New London Counties). Common calls so far today have included requests for towing service and winch outs (for vehicles off the road and/or stuck in the snow).
AAA advises drivers, if possible, to stay off the roads during the storm and until plow crews have done their work.
Mayor Segarra said he appreciate the residents who’ve moved their cars and kept off the road.
He said Hartford Police Traffic Division reported that in its 18 years’ experience, “the streets are as empty as they’ve ever seen for a snow storm.”