Vernon Emergency Management Director Michael Purcaro does not exaggerate, so one tends to believe him when he classifies a storm.
He is calling this one "a significant event."
Vernon is bracing for a winter storm that is expected to come barreling into town on Friday and last well into Saturday.
Purcaro said the latest emergency management model shows the potential for 24 to 30 inches of snow and high winds. The storm could produce white-out conditions, Purcaro said.
"This is a serious storm," he said. "We are telling people to stay off the roads - and only emergency vehicles should be on the roads during this storm so the local crews can do what they do best - clear the streets."
Purcaro said residents should "take the time" to get food and batteries.
"Travel is expected to be treacherous," Purcaro said.
It began snowing at about 9 a.m. on Friday.
The storm could start producing snow as early as 6 a.m. on Friday but the brunt of it is forecast for between 6 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday, Purcaro said.
Here is how the storm is affecting life in Vernon so far:
• School is out.
• The Emergency Operations Center will be activated as needed. It is fully set up and ready to go, Purcaro said.
• The emergency shelter is on stand-by.
• In anticipation of the snowstorm, the town is announcing a parking ban. The ban will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday and will remain in effect for a minimum of hours after the snow has stopped. Vehicles parked in violation of the ban are subject to being ticketed and/or towed.
• Due to the expected inclement weather, the Vernon Department of Public Works will be closing the Transfer Station on Hockanum Boulevard for the entire weekend.
• There will be no trash and recycling pickups on Friday.
• The Vernon Community Arts Center will be closed Friday and Saturday.
• Residents are being advised to clear the areas around fire hydrants if they become buried in snow.
The police and fire departments are operating full shifts, Purcaro said, and the new sport utility vehicle police cruisers will make things easier for the Vernon police, Purcaro said.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had scheduled a conference call with municipal officials for 10 a.m. Vernon officials met with a Connecticut Light & Power liaison two hours before that.
"We're preparing for the worse, but we hope this is going to be just a snow-removal operation," Purcaro said. He said if power does go out in a certain neighborhood, residents should call the utility right away.
Residents can expect a Reverse-911 informational message to be sent at about 1 p.m. on Friday, Purcaro said.
The Emergency Operations Center was ready for activation on Thursday night, Purcaro said.
Bradley International Airport has issued the following statement:
All commercial airline traffic will be suspended as of 1:30 p.m. Friday and is not expected to resume until mid-to-late morning on Saturday.
The airport will remain open as long as airport personnel are not in harm's way.
Passengers are encouraged to contact their specific airline for more details about the next scheduled flights. Phone lines are jammed right now so the best way to get information about a flight is through the airline's website, Facebook or Twitter pages.