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Thousands In Conn. Without Power; Motor Vehicle Travel Ban In Effect

State Of Emergency Declared By Gov. Malloy As Well As New York Gov. Cuomo
Snow falls at the Westport, Conn. Metro-North Railroad station - Feb. 8, 2013 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Snow falls at the Westport, Conn. Metro-North Railroad station – Feb. 8, 2013 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- More than 23,000 customers were left without power in Connecticut Friday night after snowstorm winds picked up.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy said Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating were planning for up to 30 percent of customers to lose power.

By 9 p.m. Friday, CL&P was reporting 22,000 outages while United Illuminating was reporting about 1,400.

LATEST OUTAGES: Connecticut Light & Power | United Illuminated

Earlier Friday, Malloy issued a motor vehicle travel ban on limited access highways. The ban was to remain in effect until further notice.

“As the weather gets worse over the next few hours, we need to keep the roads clear so that emergency-related personnel and utility crews can reach those that may need our help,” Malloy said in a statement. “By traveling in these conditions, you are not only putting yourself in danger, but you are potentially risking the lives of first responders, utility workers and other residents. Please be safe.”

Malloy also declared a state of emergency and deployed National Guard troops around the state to help with any rescues and other emergencies.

By Friday afternoon, state police reported nearly 100 minor accidents across the state.

“If you don’t currently have a reason to be on the road, if you’re not an emergency personnel that’s required to report to work somewhere, stay home,” Malloy said at a state armory news conference.

Snow began to fall in the state Friday morning amid a blizzard warning issued by the National Weather Service for all of Connecticut, along with other eastern parts of New England.

RELATED: Full Snowstorm Coverage | School Closings

More than 800 state and private plow crews hit the roads. Transportation Department workers began pretreating highways with de-icing chemicals on Thursday.

LISTEN: Radio Interviews With Gov. Dan Malloy

Department of Motor Vehicles’ offices statewide will be closed on Saturday. AAA offices statewide were closed at noon Friday for DMV transactions and were to be closed Saturday, although the company was to take calls for roadside assistance.

Some gas stations ran out of gas Thursday night during the rush to prepare for the storm.

Motorists said stations in Torrington, West Hartford, Vernon, East Lyme and other towns ran out of fuel as people filled their cars and trucks as well as containers for generators and snow blowers.

All flights in and out of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks after 1:30 p.m. were canceled.

Airport spokesman John Wallace said most morning flights arrived and departed as scheduled. He said about 125 flights were canceled, about 65 percent of the average daily flight total.

Metro-North officials started decreasing service after 5 p.m. and warned that train service could be canceled at any time based on weather conditions.

Connecticut Transit ceased all bus service at 6 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center at noon Friday to monitor the storm’s impact and coordinate response efforts.

The governor said late Friday afternoon that the storm won’t be nearly as bad as Superstorm Sandy, while adding his emergency declaration will allow the government more flexibility in dealing with the snow and ice.

“We’ve been through worse than what we’re talking about. So it’s all relative at the end of the day,” Cuomo said.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)