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Wintry Mix Closes Schools, Cancels Flights In Connecticut

Merritt Parkway in Westport, Conn. on Feb. 5, 2014 (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

Merritt Parkway in Westport, Conn. on Feb. 5, 2014 (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A winter storm packing snow, sleet and freezing rain has prompted school closings, dozens of flight cancellations and Metro-North rail service reductions in Connecticut.

The National Weather Service expects Wednesday’s storm to dump 6 to 10 inches of snow and sleet in northwestern Connecticut, 5 to 9 inches in the Hartford area and 1 to 3 inches along the shoreline. The Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning until 6 p.m.

LINKS: Forecast & Warnings | Radar | School Closings & Delays | Airports | Traffic | Transit | Tri-State Power Outages

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered all non-essential, first-shift state employees to stay home and urged private employers to do the same with their dayside workers. The governor also urged all tandem truck drivers to stay off state highways, saying he issued a “soft ban” on the double trailer vehicles.

PHOTOS: Winter Storm Causes Icy Conditions

“The bottom line is if you can stay home or work from home, please do,” Malloy said in a statement.

He said 632 state snow plows and 205 private contractor plows were clearing state roads.

State police responded to about 300 calls Wednesday morning. No fatal accidents were reported, but there was a serious injury in one crash, Malloy said. Seventy-seven National Guardsmen were on call if needed, he said.

Malloy and state lawmakers delayed the start of the annual legislative session and the governor’s state of the state address from Wednesday to Thursday.

Schools across the state were closed. The Judicial Branch closed all state courthouses and offices for the day. The state’s bus service, CT Transit, temporarily suspended service in the Hartford area Wednesday morning and reduced service in other areas.

About half the flights were canceled at Bradley International Airport north of Hartford. Officials urged travelers to check with airlines before heading to the airport.

Metro-North will operate on a regular off-peak schedule on the Hudson and Harlem lines; New Haven Line trains will run on an hourly schedule through 4 p.m.

On the Metro-North, early service was reduced 18 percent for a time and ice buildup on power lines caused some disruptions on the New Canaan branch.

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