The conditions Saturday became so bad that Malloy banned non-emergency vehicles from the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways for fear that tree limbs would strike passing cars. That ban was lifted Sunday.
Those who ventured onto the roads found few businesses that were open. Those that were open were crowded. There were long lines at gas stations as motorists tried to top off their vehicles and buy gas for snow blowers.
The gas ran out at an Exxon station in Rocky Hill, forcing those in line to go elsewhere.
“It’s crazy. Usually I fill up before a storm, but I didn’t think the storm would be this bad,” said Linda Pelletier of Rocky Hill. “I feel like I’m back in the ’70s when we had gas shortages.”
Several West Hartford police officers were running on fumes as they waited to fuel their patrol cars. On unday afternoon, police were able to get two gas station owners to allow them exclusive access to pumps until all vehicles were fueled up.
Peter Pan Bus Lines canceled service Saturday evening between New York and Boston, but said service resumed Sunday morning.
Both Malloy and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declared states of emergency, which gives them additional powers to combat the huge storm that touched multiple states.
On Saturday, numerous crashes and bumper-to-bumper traffic forced police to shut down Route 44 by midafternoon on both sides of Avon Mountain in West Hartford and Avon. In pockets around the state, the roads were packed in the midafternoon as motorists either ignored the storm or got caught by surprise and were unable to get home as quickly as they thought they could. In Fairfield County, the storm hit a few hours earlier than had been expected.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton ordered all local roads shut down by 4 p.m. The mayor said only emergency vehicles would be allowed in order to clear away cars that have gotten stuck.
“It’s not supposed to snow in October, but no one told Mother Nature,” said Geoff Fox, meteorologist at FOX CT. Fox said the weather conditions had caused “thunder snow’’ — typically a once-a-year event in the weather world.