Hamden began the big dig out Saturday and will continue today to try to recover from the worst snowstorm to hit the town and the state in at least 40 years.
Many roads remained untouched as Public Works struggled to plow town roads while aiding emergency vehicles that couldn't navigate the 40" of snow that covered the area. Overnight Friday many firetrucks were stuck and needed payloaders to get freed, and ambulances required Public Works escorts to get to calls.
On Saturday only the most serious emergencies were dispatched as fire and police continued to contend with the elements.
"It's a disaster," Mayor Scott Jackson said in an interview with CNN. The town earned the dubious distinction of being on the receiving end of the largest accumulation of the storm with 40" of snow reported.
On Saturday, the town was able to secure a private contractor to work with Public Works, and on Sunday there will be three more, Chief Administrative Officer Curt Leng said, "as the Department of Public Works shifts from emergency management to clear-out.
"The record snow made emergency calls the focus of much of the night and a good portion of day work today," he said on the town's Facebook page. "To fully understand the situation, and for a reference point, 11 Public Works [vehicles] were stuck in the snow in the heart of the blizzard tonight. Even on flat surfaces, vehicles designed and built for the snow were unable to operate and many were getting stuck."
Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Saturday submitted a request for a presidential emergency declaration in the wake of Friday’s historic winter storm, which if approved will have important implications for Hamden, reportedly the worst hit municipality on the East Coast.
“As we continue with the recovery from this historic winter storm, I am asking the federal government to provide us assistance with this process,” Malloy said. “If granted, this declaration would provide much needed help to our state.
"If granted, the emergency declaration will provide for direct federal assistance, including possible snow removal equipment and personnel, power generation, and other commodities," according to the governor's office. "An emergency declaration does not provide federal disaster funding.
"Because it appears that most if not all counties have received record or near record snowfall, it is anticipated that a preliminary damage assessment will be conducted to determine if those counties are eligible for a major disaster declaration."