Connecticut towns cancel or postpone Halloween after snowstorm

Paula Duffy's picture

The northeast snowstorm that dumped wet, heavy snow in Connecticut left hundreds of thousands without electricity. Cities are saying that safety concerns require postponing Halloween trick or treating.

The Hartford Courant reported that the storm that has caused its school district to cancel classes today is not a reason for kids to be out trick or treating on this Halloween.

The lack of operative street lamps and downed power lines make it dangerous, and surrounding towns are joining Hartford in suggesting this Saturday as an alternative to today's costumed visits to homes and businesses.

"I think we can all agree the hazards presented by low hanging wires, tree limbs, icy streets and sidewalks and a general lack of lighting far outweighs the need to celebrate Halloween [by going door to door]," Sgt. Scott Custer of the South Windsor police said in a statement.

Hartford mayor Pedro E. Segarra said that due to extreme public safety risks, residents and their families should not go house to house for Halloween.

The town of West Hartford couldn't even promise that it would be safe to proceed with a delayed Halloween celebration on Saturday. That city has closed its schools both today and tomorrow, Tuesday to allow for power restoration and clearing of dangerous tree limbs and exposed power lines.

In the town of Bristol, home of ESPN, a state of emergency was declared early in the weekend. The mayor's office issued a statement that was much stronger than those of Hartford and West Hartford.

The mayor is canceling Halloween," said his executive assistant, Mary Suchopar. "If parents want to take their children out on streets with no power where houses are dark, there are wires down, trees and branches down and trees hanging, then there's nothing we can do. But we're recommending everyone stay home."

Connecticut got slammed by Saturday's surprisingly furious snow storm. The Associated Press reported that up to 30 inches were dumped on parts of the state, which had barely recovered from devastation and power outages that resulted from Hurricane Irene on Labor Day weekend.

At last count there were more than 800.000 Connecticut households without power. That topped what the state believed was the worst it had ever suffered after Irene came and went.

In the northeast states hit hardest by the storm, including N.Y., N.J. and Pennsylvania, as well as Connecticut, some of the blame for the power problems was attributed to tree branches that had retained at least half their leaves.

Because the storm began as cold rain and sleet, once the heavy and wet snow fell, the weight of the precipitation was more than the tree branches could bear, leaving power lines vulnerable.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Lyd0286

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