Cleanup Crews Rid Downtown Of The Big Snow; Madison Public Schools Will Be Closed Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013

All town roads should be open, having been cleared of approximately 1.7million cubic yards of snow. If your road is not open, please email: storminfo@madsionct.org.


Town officials said all roads should be open as of Tuesday afternoon with at least one lane, and that if there is a road that is not open, that residents should email storminfo@madisonct.org

Even with the progress made on road clearing, school and town officials announced that schools would remain closed Tuesday, the third day that schools have been closed for the Blizzard of 2013. 

On Tuesday, First Selectman Fillmore McPherson confirmed that the town has asked contractor Bill Plunkett to "cease and desist" dumping snow from his property on Scotland Road, where Bar Bouchee is located, onto town property and property owned by others. "We have asked him to cease and desist, and we would ask other people who might be considering that to do the same," McPherson said. 

Also on Tuesday, McPherson and the town wrote a letter to U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, asking for their help in convincing FEMA to expand it's 48-hour limit on snow removal reimbursement. The letter is posted with this article as a PDF. 


As of 5:20 p.m. 

From First Selectman Fillmore McPherson: 

Good evening.  This is Fillmore McPherson, your First Selectman, with blizzard update 5, as of Tuesday, February 12.

We believe that all roads are open as of this afternoon.  Every street has at least one lane open, and mostly two open, so emergency responders can get down all roads.  If this is not the case with your road, please email storminfo@madisonct.org  The Public Works Department and private contractors are now working to clear snow from curb to curb, and to make the intersections safer.  In that regard, the downtown area will be closed for a while this evening starting around 7:30 to allow for snow removal.  Moving on, we will tackle the main roads first and then the side streets. 

I know that it seems like forever that we have been dealing with the snow, but the blizzard ended just a little more than 72 hours ago.  With a three foot snowfall, and 120 miles of town roads, we are dealing with approximately 1.7 million cubic yards of snow.  Thanks for your patience as we work our way through this episode.

Looking ahead, the latest forecast shows from one to four inches of snow Wednesday night.  After what we’ve been through, 1 to 4 inches should be manageable.

In other news, the Food Pantry operated by Madison Community Services will not be open tomorrow.  It will open next Wednesday as scheduled.

Also, the Superintendent of Schools has announced that there will not be school tomorrow.

That’s it for now.  Thank you and drive carefully.


As of 1:30 p.m. 

From First Selectman Fillmore McPherson at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday:

"We are down to the last 4 roads, 3 of which are being worked on now, then the 4th. Then we will start going back to widen."

So, if, by later this afternoon, your road has not been given at least one run through ... email storminfo@madisonct.org ... and tell them you heard that all roads were supposed to be at least passable by now and yours is not. 

Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm said a crew was on their way down to Wall Street early afternoon on Tuesday to clean up Wall Street, New Road and Railroad Avenue, "with a large tractor to remove ice!"

Nearby Guilford also hoped to have all roads cleared by the end of the day on Tuesday, but town and school officials said late Tuesday afternoon that there would be no school in Guilford Tuesday, because the roads were not ready.

Clinton schools planned to be open Tuesday on a two-hour delay. 

In Madison, Temple Beth Tikvah said there would be no religious education. Shoreline Christian School announced it would be closed. 

NO SCHOOL February 12, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Why have school when kids can be safe at school, no point in having a kid slip in the parking lot and sue the school!
NO SCHOOL February 12, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Someone is going to get hurt or get in a crash and sue the school
NO SCHOOL February 12, 2013 at 09:45 PM
No school i met the Xbox for another day!
NO SCHOOL February 12, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Just one question and you don't have to answer if you don't want to ... are you a parent or student? =)
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 09:47 PM
I heard that Clinton has buses out today to test the roads in that town, to see if there is any problem negotiating them with the high snow piles and narrow lanes. I'm guessing [hoping] Madison is doing the same. Have not heard from school officials, but I know they've been in meetings this afternoon. Hope to hear soon one way or the other ...
Lynda Montesi February 12, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Safety is what come first for our kids. My concern is that these children will be in school until the end of June when most kids have checked out already because of the heat and lack of aircondtioning in the schools. The State needs to figure out if 180 days is really worth it this year considering Ct.had 2 Epic storms, Sandy and the Blizzard of 2013 in the same school year, likes of which has never been seen before. Keep them home until they can get to school safely.
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 10:02 PM
The Madison Public Schools will be CLOSED on Wed 2/13/13
Lynda Montesi February 12, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Just got the email..no school tomorrow.
Liz Neighbors February 12, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Just rec'd text from WTNH. Do you think this is just for tonight? WTNH.com - Closing Alert 02/12 - Madison School District Closed http://www.wtnh.com/subindex/weather/storm_closings
NO SCHOOL February 12, 2013 at 10:12 PM
No school... school sucks and we should be let out of school earlier than 183 days like take off the 3 extra days its pointless and no one pays attention when it gets that hot.
Jay D February 12, 2013 at 10:50 PM
I talked to a bus driver today. They would not take out any buses in fear of getting stuck
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 12, 2013 at 11:16 PM
I did not get a chance to school officials, but am guessing JD might be right that there probably was some concern about getting stuck in snow banks. Guilford has roads mostly clear, but no school tomorrow as well ...
Sarah Page Kyrcz February 12, 2013 at 11:50 PM
Interested to know the reason. Narrow streets? Streets up north not clear enough?
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Have not heard specifically why ... but small kids and big snowbanks can make for a bad combination ... also am guessing might be difficult for them to get on and off some streets because, while they are passable, the turning radius of the bus does not allow it to negotiate the corners of some of the streets at this point ... several other school districts closed tomorrow too, including Guilford and Branford. North Haven closed for the rest of the week: http://northhaven.patch.com/articles/blizzard-2013-north-haven-schools-closed-remainder-of-this-week
Wilson February 13, 2013 at 01:36 AM
From the end of the upcoming vacation our kids will have been in school only 7 of the previous 25 days. Add to that the amount of time it will take to get kids back up to speed and then the time (way too much time) the town spends "teaching to the test" for the up coming CMT's and out kids are losing out. I am not mad about the un-plowed streets keeping me from work I am furious that our kids are being under-served by lack of emergency planning and it's impact on marginal teaching to begin with. I did not vote for robo-calls and selectman whining that they are doing the best they can. I voted for the excellence commensurate with the property taxes and the upcoming raise in Town and Board of Ed budgets. What the heck are we paying for in this town?
Kim Gass February 13, 2013 at 03:13 AM
In 2000, we left Nomad for the Sebago Lake area of Maine, We regularly get big snow dumps in Maine. This last one of 34 inches was no exception. The kids in our area missed NO school . We did stay in Madison last night (Mon 2/11) and found conditions unreasonably tough. In my opinion those conditions would have been eased within 30 minutes of the storm end in Maine. Why? We have parking bans...get your cars off the street. That way the pass counts. Our town has contracts with landscapers and private contractors with plows and Bobcats and front end loaders. Designating a snow dump site is paramount. You do need to have arrangements with front end loader operators and dump trucks. In summary, the system in Madison is terrible as it exists. Contracts with private operators are the key to successful road clearing. And pushing back those corners is a MUST for sightlines. You taxpayers ought to insist on better contingency plans though it may cost you more, Clearly Public Works cannot do it all. I got a chuckle ( but pitched in with a shovel) at a Madison neighbor with a million dollar home trying to get his Volvo off the street with a snowshovel. A roof rake and a snowblower or better yet a snowplow contract is well worth your health. In some ways I love Maine in the winter. I still love Madison too though and have left family there. But you guys are simply not winter savvy.
Michael February 13, 2013 at 03:34 AM
STOP FUNDING MADISON COMMUNITY SERVICES if......... Just read in McPheresons letter that Food Pantry operated by Madison Community Services will not open tomorrow and not again until next week. What the heck, we just survived a blizzard and there are more then ever residents who are either out of work-out of pay-out of food this week and who knows how many that could not drive out for food all week and the Pantry is not open and with no emergency plan? How are our hungry residents going to eat? I have sat here and read endless complaints from very privileged citizens who have been inconvenienced by snow. We owe it to the those who need food to fight even harder for them. How reckless of Food Pantry operated by Madison Community Services to walk away from serving our citizens when they are most in need. and how reckless of our town first selectmen not to fight for this essential service but just announce it like it was an out of town ball score. If not tomorrow then shovel a path to the door and drag the food out and hand out emergency provisions by the pre-filled bags from the accessible senior center. I'll help! Madison Community Services will never see money from me again if they close til next week. Join in.
Sarah Page Kyrcz February 13, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Why are they closed?
Kim Gass February 13, 2013 at 05:07 AM
Pre planning is the key. Food delivery services ought to have provided storm packs to each subscriber who depends on something like Meals on Wheels in advance. Here in Maine, it is our mindset that we always have four to seven days of dried food in the larder, Plan ahead and life is a breeze. The most inconvenience you will have may be the loss of the Internet. How many in Madison have a standby generator that will power your house for a week with no need to resupply fuel? Think basic. When we lived in Madison we took services for granted, Now that we are in Maine, we are acutely aware of snow removal skills, water supply and have a standby propane genny. I urge Madison residents to think "US" and not "THEY", If we have trees down here we all pitch in and and bring our saws. Otherwise it will be days before the situation is rectified, Jeez..get to know your neighbors!
Amy Johnson February 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Can someone explain to me why we can't cancel February vacation???
mbobsmith February 13, 2013 at 12:11 PM
". . . marginal teaching to begin with." Nothing like a snow storm to create a reason (or not) to slam the education in Madison. That said, I'm sorry your children are not getting anything more than marginal teaching. I'm not sure everyone in our town would agree.
John February 13, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Because thousands of parents have already made plans, plans that can't be un-made (or refunded) to ensure their kids are taken care of during that week. Many more parents have already made plans to take advantage of the vacation and spend time with their families, again, having already spent (non-refundable) money those families would probably pull their kids out for the week anyways. In addition, the faculty and staff that keep the schools open have made similar plans or arrangements. All in all, it's just too close for the Board of Education to do anything without a major uproar from parents, the possibility of many faculty and staff being unavailable for the week, and many students not attending anyways due to prior plans. We have one more day (having already counted Wednesday) left in June that can be used to make up snow days. My guess is that if we need more than that, the days will be taken out of April vacation.
John February 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Bob, I was about to post the same thing. Here's another that disagrees.
Pem McNerney (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Hi Kim. Thanks for your comments. What town do you live in, in Maine?
Gkelmo February 13, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Going to be just too hot in June for we teachers and students! Time to start thinking if the "forgiveness rule, ". What's a few days to a week or so going to do to a child's education if he misses it? What cracks me up is the fact that this is New England, people expect that we can't have some crazy winters? Nuff said!
Wilson February 13, 2013 at 01:04 PM
Bob and John, sorry you are willing to accept mediocrity so willingly. Ignorance is no measure of reality. My point was mostly related to blizzard clean up. However, Madison continues to teach to the test, apply endless resources to remedial and accelerated programs with little attention to the log jam of students in the middle. Don't buy the comparison charts of how we are doing with other towns our size.At best in math and science we are dropping in those comparisons. Compare our students to charts that show quality of college acceptance, academic scholarships offered, job opportunities for non-matriculating DHHS graduates, average PSAT and SAT scores as related to the competition your children face in this changing economy. So don't be so dismissive of fact checking and reality. Honestly it becomes a buttress for my comment. My point is more classroom time is better then less time and poor town planning and now I include educational apathy will not sever our town well in emergencies nor our children in opportunities.
Beth Crowley February 13, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Cool videos Stu -Thanks! And a big THANK YOU to Public Works and all the private contractors who have been working so hard to get us back to normal. Also to all the spouses who are holding down the fort while their loved ones are gone for hours and even days to dig us out. I know nothing is perfect but I am loving my new Town including the schools where my three children were welcomed so warmly in September and I am excited about the future the new Superintendent and his amazing staff are designing for Madison. I do wish the State could come up with a 180 days or June 15th rule so Districts didn't have to struggle with this during bad weather years.
Lynda Montesi February 13, 2013 at 08:39 PM
School is open tomorrow..Feb 14th with a 90min delay so kids can get to the bus in the daylight...stay safe!
Amy Johnson February 13, 2013 at 09:03 PM
And what if Parents have vacation plans for the end of June? Vacation plans are a weak excuse. If it is that big of a deal, take your kid out of school for the week. These breaks of time in the midst of the school year break the flow of education. Also, when the weather is warm, kids do not focus and it is not healthy for students or staff.


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