Amid storm, Gov. orders early CT shutdown

BY Gregory Seay

Connecticut's governor has ordered all non-essential state workers be sent home early Wednesday, and urged private employers to consider doing the same due to the approaching Nor'easter.

Meantime, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin declared city hall will shut for the day at noon. However, Bronin said city public works, fire, police and other emergency staff will remain on duty throughout Wednesday.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said first-shift state workers will be released in staggered, 15-minute intervals, starting at noon, to allow for a more orderly afternoon-evening commute.

In addition, Malloy ordered nonessential, second-shift state employees not to report to work this evening.

"After consulting with our emergency management team, we are directing state employees to head home today in staggered phases beginning at noon in order to ensure that folks are off the roads by the rush-hour period when the snowfall is forecast to be at its heaviest," Malloy said in a statement.

"We are also encouraging private sector businesses to consider similar plans,'' he said. "Travel will be dangerous this afternoon with white-out conditions at times – if you do not need to be on the road this afternoon and evening, please stay safely at home."

Waterbury lender Webster Bank announced that its Fairfield County and Westchester, N.Y., branches and loan offices will close at noon Wednesday. Its Greater Hartford and other central Connecticut branch-offices will shut at 1 p.m.