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Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Morning After Storm Report: S’no Problem!

The Morning After Storm Report: 
S’no Problem!
Downtown mostly clear following 
three-inch snow drop
(Posted on 1/8)
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – Sidewalks were partially coated with ice, benches were still snow covered and gray slush trimmed the roadside but otherwise conditions were clear.

This was the scene on the Post Road in downtown Fairfield early Saturday morning following a snowstorm that swept through the area Friday afternoon, resulting in school and business closures and early dismissals. Snowfall totaled approximately 3 to 4 inches and made travel difficult. But Fairfield’s snow removal crews were at the ready and plows and sand trucks were out in great numbers to meet the challenge. The snow all but ceased early evening, allowing homeowners to creep out to shovel and dust off their cars.

As private snow removal contractors whizzed past and fuel service vendors stopped in for breakfast, the counter crew at Firehouse Deli went about their morning routine.

Asked about his expectations for morning business, owner Laz Perez, working the grill, said, “Things are going to be slow. Everyone’s indoors or they’ve gone skiing. They usually come out in the afternoon… hopefully.”

About the snow removal around town, Perez commented, “I thought it was pretty good. Much better than Bridgeport, where I grew up. All the streets are pretty clear.”

Perez added, “We prepare for anything. We’re like the post office, always open.”

Fairfielder Mike McGrath, 55, had just stepped from Wachovia Bank, busy with morning errands. “I’m just doing my usual Saturday morning stuff – store, bank, dry cleaners. The storm was not a problem – a nothing. The main road was fine. Some of the back roads need to be salted more than anything else.”

Chef’s Table was warm and toasty as Alicia Aguiar, 29, general manager of Carabiners Indoor Rock Climbing, collected breakfast. “I’m just grabbing some coffee to help me through the day. I have a birthday party at 10:30, so need to get ready. Things were slushy. The plows have some work to do, but most people have four-wheel drive, so no problem.”

Rich Herzfeld, owner of Chef’s Table, fixing a tea for himself at an adjacent counter, shared his forecast for the business day. “Once people start shoveling and plowing out, we’ll get very busy. People want to get out of the house. It will be a very good day. Our soups, stews and chowders are going to be very popular.”

Across the street, Dave Thompson of Bravo Co. LLC of Fairfield, was shoveling out and plowing the parking lot and sidewalks around Mike’s Pizza. “The snow stopped mid-evening. We were out while it was going and after it stopped. We finished up at 11 and then came back out at 7 this morning to do a lap before the businesses open. We put salt down last night but it’s still a little tough to clear away,” he said, trying to wedge his shovel under some sidewalk ice.

Maureen Wallace, 53, and husband Allen, 54, strolled past, headed to The Pantry. “We came out for coffee and something to eat,” said Maureen. “We walked over, but the roads seem pretty clear.” George added, “We still have to shovel, but we might go to the movies. Plus there’s a lot of football on.” Maureen had other ideas, saying, “It’s a fireplace and a book for me.”

The temperature at 9 a.m. was 26 degrees according to online service Weather Underground, with a predicted high of 34 and 60 percent chance of more snowfall. A second system is anticipated to move into the area Tuesday through Wednesday.