As Town Continues Recovery From Last Storm, Weather Watchers Keep An Eye On Weekend Forecast

The town's emergency management officials are as well. In the meantime, the town continues its recovery from the historic Blizzard of 2013, which left a large part of the town's snow removal fleet damaged.


Meteorologists and weather watchers are keeping an eye on the weekend forecast, according to Gil Simmons, of WXEDGE.com

All eyes on Saturday late night and Sunday now with a storm sliding by to our South. The European weather model and GFS weather model both show a pretty good area of precipitation over the state. temperatures are marginal at the shoreline and colder inland for all snow there! The ECMWF has had a very good track record for this Winter so far. We will be watching this closely! 

The National Weather Service said Wednesday morning that a hazardous weather outlook has been issued for Thursday through Tuesday. 

Possibility of moderate to significant snowfall accumulations

"There is the potential for a strengthening coastal low to impact the area Saturday through early Sunday with widespread significant precipitation. Right now the precipitation is forecast to be mainly rain at the coast and mainly snow inland as well as higher elevations, with the possibility for moderate to significant snowfall accumulations."

The National Weather Service said Wednesday morning that there is still "quite a bit of uncertainty for the weekend forecast.

"Variations in track and magnitude will lead to changes in forecast amounts as well as precipitation type, and the areas where the higher amounts will occur," the NWS said. 

During and after the last big snowstorm, the Blizzard of 2013 from Feb. 9 to Feb. 11, 2013, Madison removed about 1.7 million cubic yards of snow from its 120 miles of roads, First Selectman Fillmore McPherson said. The blizzard dropped about 32 inches of snow on Madison from Friday night into Saturday, more than the average annual snowfall of 24 inches for Madison.

Snow removal operations complicated

Snow removal operations during the Blizzard of 2013 were complicated by a stubborn underlayer of ice, and by the fact that the state was also struggling to remove snow in a timely manner, leaving the town to do work on Boston Post Road/Route 1, Route 79 and Route 80, which normally are the state's responsbility.

McPherson said during a Board of Finance meeting last week that he fully expects the town will need a special appropriation to pay for part of the Blizzard of 2013 cleanup and any other storms for the rest of the season.

"It started snowing Friday night, just as weekend overtime started," McPherson said. "We brought in outside contractors and they are still working [as of Wednesday night]."

Not clear how much Blizzard of 2013 will cost altogether

McPherson said he did not yet have an estimate as to how much the Blizzard of 2013 cleanup will cost, when all the bills are in and counted. 

The town had $115,000 available for snow removal at the beginning of the fiscal year. As of Feb. 15, $66,000 had been spent and about $45,000 was encumbered for present and future billings submitted for snow removal so far, according to the town finance department. 

In addition to snow removal costs, McPherson also said "a lot of the equipment broke down" during the clean up from the blizzard.

Blizzard cleanup resulted in equipment breakdowns

McPherson said the town started with seven pieces of snow removal equipment, and got down to two or three, and still had five in "various states of disrepair" as of Wednesday morning of last week. The problems included transmissions, and other engine problems. The storm "was a lot of work for these vehicles," McPherson said.

McPherson said the town is in the market for a new plow truck and that Madison Director of Public Works & Town Engineer Mike Ott is going to review the specifications for the truck with an eye to "getting something more robust."

"We will sharpen up the specs and our expectations," McPherson said, based on the town's experience with the historic storm earlier this month.

Contractors' equipment also experienced breakdowns

Board of Finance member Sandy McKissick said that contractors' equipment also broke down during Blizzard 2013 clean up. He asked whether the town would be liable for any of that, and McPherson said the town would not.  

The Blizzard of 2013 left more than nine people dead across the Northeast, including two from carbon monoxide poisoning, and it left 350,000 without power. The Connecticut Post reported Tuesday another fatality from the storm, a pedestrian in Milford, CT who was walking along a street because the sidewalks were not accessible.

The horrific pedestrian accident that took the life of Kevin Tanski, of Milford, last week as he walked with his family on a snow-choked road has claimed another life, that of Brenda Tanski, 51. A Bridgeport Hospital spokesman said Brenda Tanski died of her injuries early Monday morning. She had been listed in critical condition. Information was not available on the family relationship yesterday, but she is believed to be Kevin Tanski's wife. Also injured in the Feb. 11 accident was Jenny Tanski, 21, who was treated and released. A fourth family member did not require medical treatment.

Read more at ctpost.com

Hamden, CT posted the highest snowfall amount, with 40 inches, and Massachussets logged winds that were as strong as a Category I hurricane. A state of emergency was declared for the record-breaking storm that forced roads, train service, and airports to close across the state.


Janet February 20, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Hear hear!
BL Davis February 20, 2013 at 10:49 PM
And what about the grand proposal for Strong Field? Remember when Duo stood up at a BOS meeting and proudly announced that the $3 million project wouldn't cost the Town a cent because it would ALL be paid for by donations? So far donations have reached about $450K -- and the Town has contributed about $1.2 million from the LoCap Fund for Capital Maintenance and from the original fund set up for the Surf Club. Watch for other parts of the Strong Field Plan to be snuck into LoCap or other parts of the Budget. Donations? Show me the money! Let's vote for NO more work on Strong Field until those promised donations have been deposited in the Town's bank account. If the Loud Voices won't donate, why shouold the taxpayer have to pay?
Matt February 21, 2013 at 12:04 AM
I think of Strong Field a little differently than other blithering wastes of money lately. Strong is a heavily utilized existing facility. Every dollar spent on that place is put to good use by thousands of people. It is worth spending money on, as long as it isn't preventing more important things from getting done at the same time. Academy and the Leyland Bird Brain Bail Out were not existing facilities, not utilized at all, and still are not utilized, 12 million dollars later. Money spent on those useless vacant plots for nothing is money that: 1) Wouldn't be part of every budget increase for the last 3 years 2) Money that could have been used for that ambulance 3) Money that could have funded the overnight paramedic that the town needs 4) Money that could have bought another big ass snow plow 5) etc etc etc
BL Davis February 21, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Matt: Should we assume that you and the "thousands of people who put it to good use" all intend to make big donations to the Strong Field 501 (c) (3)? You can make a tax deductible donation to the Strong Center, and mail your check to Strong Center, 94 Bradley Road, Madison, CT 06443.. If you believe, contribute! Now.
Matt February 21, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Nope. If I had spare money lying around, I might. It is a heavily utlized town recreation facility. I fully expect town money to be spent on it so I don't have a big problem with it. I would rather spend money improving and upgrading something we have and used extensively. Something that we can see and feel and say "ah ha, that is nice". Unlike things like the bird brain love nest and academy school hobby shack... things that didn't exist and probably never will. I basically assume anything coming from Duo and his merry band of unicorn chasers is a complete lie. He and his crusaders really do nothing but make up these happy go lucky plans, and every time, they turn into a new way to spend tax dollars.
concerned parent February 21, 2013 at 03:55 PM
2-3 inches an hour with each plow route taking no more than 2 - 3 hrs. These plow drivers are extremely good at what they do in that weather. I read that more than 1/2 the fleet broke down and they had to hadle some of the state's routes. We had a lot of warning for this event and knew it would be in the middle of the night thats why I cant understand why they were out in the late afternoon/early evening plowing, sanding and salting, a waste of material and human resources.
Matt February 21, 2013 at 04:19 PM
You demand they wait. Other demand they do it now now now. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't no matter what.
Sadly No February 21, 2013 at 04:40 PM
They need to be out early sanding and plowing(still dont understand why they havent gone to plain salt) so that build up of compacted snow doesnt form on the payment. If not, then the tires will never touch payment and they would never be able any snow. The discussion shouldnt be about the when they did or did not start. The discusdion had to be whether or not the leaders of the town have their priorities together. I cant help but think if money was spent on newer or more maintained trucks rather han a swamp, we would have been in better shape. Same holds true with public safety. There is a good chance that an older ambulance could die enroute to the hospital because monies were cut from the replacement fund to pay for the swamp; or a second paramedic was cut in order to balance the entire town budget....the list goes on and on. What would you rather have??? It will be interesting to see what "needs" get cut this budget season to pay for the "wants" of the town
Wilson February 21, 2013 at 06:25 PM
All I know is my street is still only wide enough for 1.5 cars at a time. They cleared it three days after the storm and have never come back. Enough of the excuses. Excuses were good for a week or two but time is up. Replace the broken equipment and use it to clean my street and sweep out this administration.
Janet February 22, 2013 at 02:18 AM
The town and schools are asking for nearly a 4% increase, which is in part due to what they say are "severe" increases in Heath insurance. Is anyone looking at other alternatives to bring down costs to us taxpayers? Are the employees paying their fair share, compared to what the rest if us pay? Is there an opportunity to regionalize? What are they doing to address this?
Matt February 22, 2013 at 12:13 PM
I'm not sure what your complaint is. You said they cleared your street and never came back? Never came back for what? Do you want them to shovel your driveway and deliver your starbucks too?
Robert Bracer February 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM
sort of like the Scarpati's folly at the Senior Center? Who had the loudest voice then? Every time I drive by there it is empty. Its all about how much you can dupe the masses, right Duo?
Robert Bracer February 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Actually other than the drinking night softball games, the only ones using the new Ciotti Field will be the school. Why didn't that come out of the school budget so we could have at least voted for it.
Janet February 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM
So why do we need yet another 3 fields at the bird park?
concerned parent February 22, 2013 at 01:16 PM
I ve spent 15 years in the town public works business. When a big storm is predicted you do not head out with the first couple inches and put material on the road that is invariabley going to get plowed off (unless it is a pre-treatment). Timing is critical in order stay ahead or at least even with the event, not bigger beefier trucks. The truck models madison uses are a long time tested success for the intended use. A fleet of big tri-axle dump trucks is nice for the 1 in 20 year snow event but a waste of money the other 7600 days. Who said they have to do it now, now now? and you are absolutely correct... their job is thankless more often than not.
concerned parent February 22, 2013 at 01:44 PM
You have a valid point, plain salt is alot cleaner and actually does melt ice/snow (at the proper temps) sand is more of a visual tool and gives little traction. Pretreating with calcium is the way to keep the ice/snow from bonding to the pavement. Problem is the chemicals are expensive and it is not easy to get or to keep the surplus through the off season. Early start or later start is not the real issue, each storm, especially the big ones need a specific stategy. Chances of an ambulance dying on the way to the hospital are slim to nothing and the same if its new or a little older. Doesnt the Ambulance Association pay their paramedics? They are not town employees. You will be grateful to get a ride with them but you will get hit with an excessive fee if your not a member of the association (so join). The town just put out a hefty sum for an ambulance Taj Mahal. The town's trucks have new bays but have you ever seen the workers quarters? Its a 75 year old disgrace.
Robert Bracer February 22, 2013 at 02:07 PM
Janet are you inferring that there may have been some slimey dealings with that property purchase? Do you think Duo was aid for all his work, perhaps by the very people that were trying to sell it instead of Madison? Were we duped?
Matt February 22, 2013 at 02:31 PM
^^ LOL. Nooooooo. Robert how could you or Janet think such a thing. Just because we bought it for 4x more than it was worth? Or just because that amount is exactly what Leyland needed to be bailed out. Or just because there were obviously false promises about donations. Or just because it was obvious there was no actual plan, just pretty propaganda renderings. Or just because certain politicians like catering to certain special interests time and again? Or the fact that nearly 4 years later, they have done nothing but dig a hole in the ground? Or that many of the things in their flashy expensive propaganda are not part of the current plan, if there even is one? Or that the lies were stacked higher than their birds can fly? If you ignore all those silly things, this was a perfectly legitimate and well executed plan for making out town better! It's not like there was anything else in town that could have used that 12 million dollars so why not. ha.
Sadly No February 22, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Maybe you should call the ambulane and see if you can find out, especially recently, if any ambulaces have broken down enroute to the hospital, or stuck at the hospital; i think the results would surprise you. As for the ambulance Taj Mahal..are you kidding me?? Stop by, go on a tour and see how horrible that building is..then go to the senior center, and tell me which building was he priority for the town. The only reason the ambulance got a new building, was that it needed to be demolished to make room for the senior center. If the town had another spot for the SC, then the ambulance would have never have gotten a new building. As for the paramedics, the town does pay for the paramedics. It does not matter if you are an employee there or not, you still get charged the state rate for a transport o the hospital. Call or stop by the ambulance building. Im postive it would be a eye opener!
Robert Bracer February 22, 2013 at 05:41 PM
since they have kept the construction costs on the QT, I am wondering if that process was ever bid out?
Janet February 22, 2013 at 05:54 PM
I don't know Duo and I am not accusing anyone specifically... I am just saying there is a lot I do not understand about that purchase and why our town leaders pushed so hard for it at that obviously inflated price. They will never admit that they overpaid; they simply say the people of Madison voted for it. The promises of ball fields that we don't need helped seal the vote.
Charles February 22, 2013 at 06:51 PM
I voted for it after I was bombarded with full color mailings from Duo. Showed football fields and baseball fields. AND sadly all those years later I think we were lied to.
Janet February 22, 2013 at 07:11 PM
And as far as Academy School, some creative accounting numbers are being handed to us that say out tax revenue would be minimal if we sell to developers. The big spin is on. Don't fall for it this time!
concerned parent February 22, 2013 at 08:01 PM
I have not seen the new building, but for over $2 million it better not be a horrible building. Check out the common employee area of the PW gararge if you want an eye opener. The ambulance association is quasi indepentent organization similar to the volunteer fire departments (except they own and maintain there own facilities). The town provides the facilities and equipment for the ambulance. Taxes may subsidize wages but most is paid by member dues. A ride to the ER will cost non-members $600 plus members 5 to 6 time less. The association like the fire department is supposed to ensure that their vehicles make it to their destination. Shame on them (not the town) if it doesnt. The SC/ambulance deal by Scarpati would never have been approved if they werent done together, mutually inclusive. No SC no ambulance, No ambulance no SC. Its is nice to now what time I get home every evening however. Academy School should have been made into a COMMUNITY CENTER... Strong field should be GRASS (not plastic).
Wilson February 22, 2013 at 08:45 PM
BL Davis I will say if "Matt" put 2 cents in to a can instead of subjects that he has no knowledge of and nothing but distorted facts to argue with, Strong Field would be completely funded and these forums would be a lot more interesting and informative.
Matt February 22, 2013 at 10:21 PM
They do maintain their equipment quite well. But when equipment is end-of-life and needing replacement, it is still the town budget covering the replacement. Not donations. Just like the fire departments. I've seen the DPW shop. I've seen the Ambulance. And I've seen the senior center. It is glaringly obvious that the sole concern was the senior center. The ambulance was in their way and they were handled as a bare-minimum PR show to make way for the senior palace. They got the real short end of the stick. The ambulance is a 24/7 operation with 4-8 or more people at a time living there for 10, 12, 16, sometimes 24 hours at a time. There are employees that spend more time living there than they do living at their home. And they got crap. The senior center on the other hand, which is mostly vacant, under-utilized, and over-sized, got the golden gloves. It isn't right. It's too late to do anything about it now of course. But it remains a prime example of how special interests take priority over reality. As for the DPW shop, those guys work hard all day and in cases of storms, all night too. They deserve a nice base of operations. Have they ever proposed doing improvements or renovations? And if so, were those plans shot down? If their facility sucks, but they haven't researched or tried to improve it, I'm not sure there is grounds to pout about it. If they have tried to improve it and gotten shot down, then I definitely believe it deserves a chance.
Matt February 22, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Hello "Wilson". We're having a civil discussion here. Whoever you actually are, since that isn't your real name as usual, please try to post meaningful comments on the topics being discussed. If the only thing you can do is make personal insults, you are not contributing to the discussion and are in violation of Patch's terms of use. You do not have to agree with me and I welcome alternate points of view. If you have one, by all means have at it. But simply making comments to personally insult other people is not gaining you nor your point of view anything.
Sadly No February 23, 2013 at 01:27 AM
@Concerned Parent. You really need to learn more about Madison Ambulance. NO ONE pays dues. Most of their income comes from billing anyone who calls 911 and gets transported to the hospital. Here is their website so you can learn more: http://www.madisonambulance.org
Wilson February 23, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Matt I was just pointing out when you use words like "I (you) basically assume anything coming from Duo and his merry band of unicorn chasers is a complete lie" and then state "But simply making comments to personally insult other people is not gaining you nor your point of view anything" is making your own point more relevant.
Matt February 23, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Touche. I'm easily frustrated when people lie and then flush my money down the toilet.


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