Blizzard Nemo leaves power mostly in place for Wilton

The tone of the message on the town website on Saturday, Feb. 9, was fairly jubilant, announcing the nor’easter dubbed Nemo had blown through Wilton leaving no significant power outages in its wake. “Hallelujah!” it said.

The powerful storm dumped about 24 inches in Wilton, but saved its wrath for the southeastern and coastal portions of Connecticut, where snow totals flirted with the three-foot mark and about 39,000 CL&P customers lost power, far fewer than during Storm Sandy in October.

First Selectman Bill Brennan issued a Code Red announcement Thursday evening urging residents to prepare in advance of the coming storm. Fire Chief Paul Milositz said Thursday both the fire and police departments were scheduling extra manpower and the Department of Public Works was “all hands on deck.”

Wilton schools closed on Friday, as did Wilton Library, the senior center and many businesses in town. The Wilton Y closed at noon. The transfer station closed at 1 on Friday and remained closed until Monday to allow personnel to report for snow plowing duty.

The town’s Emergency Operations Center opened at noon, and members of the Community Emergency Response Team readied the emergency shelter at Comstock Community Center in case it was needed. It was not.

Metro-North ran extra trains Friday afternoon, and despite making major preparations for the storm, the rail line soon found itself buried under snow and suspended all rail service at 10 Friday night.

With crews working all night, 90% of Wilton’s roads had been plowed at least once by Saturday morning, according to town officials.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, who had instituted a ban on all non-emergency vehicles on limited-access highways, extended that prohibition through 4 p.m. on Saturday. Wilton officials asked citizens to respect the ban, and thus afford town plows more time to clean up.

Because of the travel ban, the library remained closed, as did the Y. The travel ban, compounded by difficulties with snow removal across the state prompted the suspension of mail delivery on Saturday.

Metro-North resumed limited service on the New Haven line Saturday afternoon, from Stamford to New York City, and the line offered a regular Sunday schedule between those two stations. Branch line service did not return until Monday morning.

The Wilton police blotter showed a few calls regarding disabled vehicles and road conditions, but no reportable accidents.

Except for rail service, things were pretty much back to normal on Sunday.