Illustration: CT Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection has issued the following alert about a strong storm system and heavy winds that are expected to impact Wilton overnight Thursday, Feb. 17 into Friday morning, Feb. 18.

“A strong storm system is forecast to pass to the northwest across upstate New York and Northern New England early Friday morning. As the storm system passes, strong southerly winds are forecast to develop starting Thursday evening and reaching a peak early Friday morning. At this time, the strongest winds are forecast to occur between Thursday at midnight and 8 a.m. Friday morning. Wind gusts during this period could range from 35-55 mph inland, and up to 55–65 mph along the south-central and southeast coast. There is also a slight risk of thunderstorms early Friday morning which could result in isolated higher wind gusts. 

“Some tree damage is expected, especially along the coast. The impact on power lines is currently expected to be a low-end moderate impact.”

According to Police Chief/Emergency Management Director John Lynch, the town will be monitoring events and Eversource has notified town officials that the company is preparing for power outages as a result of the potential high winds.

The winds may have a “high-end minor impact” on the morning rush hour on Friday, with winds gusting to 50-60 mph at times. DESPP officials warn that high-profile vehicles driving across exposed bridges face the primary risk from any wind gusts.

The DESPP alert also warns of a “slight risk for ice jams” on waterways in western Connecticut. “The thin snowpack could be melted by the combination of mild temperatures in the low 50s and around an inch of rainfall. Recent cold weather has allowed ice to thicken on rivers (e.g.the Housatonic near Kent) and streams in western CT. Minor flooding could break up some of the ice and cause some jamming in the normally prone locations.”