HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared a state of emergency Monday and opened the state Emergency Operations Center to prepare for the winter storm headed into the region.

A travel ban went also into effect for the entire state starting at 9 p.m. Monday.

The Emergency Operations Center was activated at 4 p.m. Monday, and will remain open throughout the storm.

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“People need to take this storm seriously,” Malloy said in a statement. “If current predictions are accurate, we will need people to stay off the roads so that emergency personnel and utility crews can get to the places they need to get to, and to make sure that our plows can keep critical roadways clear.”

The National Weather Service is warning of a two-day snowfall of 20 to 30 inches and winds gusting more than 30 mph to as much as 75 mph.

The state is under a blizzard warning from until midnight Wednesday morning.

Connecticut’s largest utility is emailing and phoning customers warning of possible electrical outages during the storm.

Messages on Sunday from Connecticut Light & Power urged customers who rely on electricity for life-supporting equipment or medication requiring refrigeration to get back-up power or move to another.

The storm could be a major test for the utility, which has upgraded equipment and cleared tree branches and limbs since destructive storms in 2011.

Malloy said both Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating are treating the storm as a “Level 1” occurrence.

“For CL&P, that would mean something up to … 110,000 households could be out of power,” he said.

He warned that people need to take precautions in case of a power or heating outage.

“If you’re without power, you are going to be without power for a period of time – in all likelihood, several days,” Malloy said. “If you have a fireplace that’s usable, have some wood ready. If you don’t bring into your home a heater; a system that has exhaust, don’t bring that into your house. Don’t run it in your garage for that matter.”

United Illuminating estimates about 10,000 outages.

Malloy said the utilities have crews coming in to restore power, some from other states and some from Ontario, Canada, WCBS 880 Connnecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

In Stamford, city officials are asking that cars be moved off every city street, not just the snow routes. About 2,000 free parking spaces in three city garages are being made available, city Operations Director Ernie Orgera said.

Firehouses and the Government Center will be available as warming centers.

Mayor David Martin said people should be prepared to ride out the storm without power, WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported.

“There’s no such thing as being overprepared for this storm,” Martin said.

In Bridgeport, city officials are relying on residents to alert them about streets that need plowing or another problems. Mayor Bill Finch said residents can use a smartphone app called BConnected to report any snow-related concerns.

“All of our plow drivers are connected in real time, using iPhones and iPads,” Finch told Schneidau.

In Greenwich, Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Warzoha said there are concerns that the amount of snow and winds along the coast could result in flooding during high tide.

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