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Ice Makes For A Slippery Commute, Walk Thursday

People slipped, slid and struggled to get into their own cars Thursday morning in the wake of a storm that dropped snow, sleet and freezing rain on the state.

While major routes were mostly clear of snow and ice early Thursday, many local roads were ice-encrusted. Dozens of school districts, including Hartford Public Schools, delayed classes.

A car veered off I-84 west in Tolland late Thursday morning, but no one was injured. The one-car crash happened between exits 68 and 67, a fire official said.

The commuting challenges began with walking on untreated driveways and parking lots, which might have been better described as ice rinks. The second obstacle was getting into ice-covered cars when the doors were frozen shut.

West Hartford’s Public Works Department tweeted advice about how to walk on ice: Center your weight on the foot that is stepping forward — kind of like a penguin.

The icy conditions were not entirely unexpected.

“If you are planning to walk or drive this morning, you should plan on taking extra time to reach your destination,” the National Weather Service said in a 4:15 a.m. warning. “Be alert for slippery spots on wet surfaces.”

Cold air from the northwest brought temperatures down to the 20s and low 30s overnight, the weather service said. Thursday will be sunny, but temperatures are not expected to go above the low 30s.

So the icy conditions may continue.

The snow started falling Wednesday morning and turned to sleet and freezing rain before noon. Road conditions deteriorated quickly as the storm traveled from west to east.

By Wednesday evening, state police had reported spin outs and cars sliding off roads into guard rails, although few of the crashes were considered serious.

One exception was in Windsor, where Route 305, Bloomfield Avenue, was closed in both directions for a fatal crash involving a garbage truck and a car. Police said they are investigating whether slippery roads were a factor.

In Enfield, a car went off the road, traveled through backyards and hit a house, knocking it off its foundation late Wednesday night, the police chief said. Nobody was injured in the crash, which may be weather-related.

“The roads were slick out there I’m sure [investigators] are going to be looking at that as a possible factor, but the investigation is ongoing,” Chief Carl Sferrazza said.

A spokeswoman for Bradley International Airport said Thursday that the airport remains open and is continuing to work to return to normal operations after Wednesday’s flight disruptions. Passengers are advised to contact their airline about its schedule and any rebooking options.

On Wednesday, the airport reported that about a third of its flights had been canceled.

Courant Staff Writer Nicholas Rondinone and David Owens contributed to this story.

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