Officials in Portland and East Hampton are getting ready for Friday's Nor'easter with the usual preparations; School officials are keeping their eyes on the storm's track to determine if they need to cancel classes or at least dismiss early, public works crews are gassing up the plow trucks and loading them with sand or salt.
But other than that, there's not much they can do until the storm gets closer and everyone knows for sure what it's going to bring.
"It seems like it's an inevitability that the storm is going to hit us" but it's unclear how hard and exactly when, said East Hampton School Superintendent Mark Winzler.
Before making a decision on whether to cancel school or close early tomorrow, Winzler said he will speak with school superintendents in other towns, the school bus company, police and public works officials to determine what action to take.
Winzler said he's a bit concerned about making a decision too early because a few years ago school systems across the state did that when there was a threat of a monster storm, and then that storm didn't materialize.
Public Works Director Keith Hayden said his crews are ready for the storm and that it's too soon to make any other major decisions yet, such as whether to open a shelter for residents whose power goes out.
"We're ready for any inevitability but it's really too early" for extra preparations, he said.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for East Hampton and Portland as a powerful winter storm is expected to affect the region starting Thursday night and lasting into Saturday morning.
The blizzard watch will be in effect from Friday afternoon and continue through to Saturday afternoon.
The storm system will bring with it heavy snow, sleet and damaging winds — with gusts blowing up in excess of 60 miles per hour.
At CL&P and United Illuminating, the state's two major utilities, are gearing up for the storm. Spokesmen at both companies said the major concern is the high winds the storm is expected to bring - gusts of up to 60 MPH - and the possibility that warm air pushing up from the south could mean a heavy, wetter snow in some regions.
"We've already held a few internal meetings and storm-team calls and we're reaching out to external resources," said Michael West, UI's spokesman. "All of our UI crews will be available" throughout the weekend, he added.
Mitch Gross, CL&P's spokesman said his utility has issued an "all hands on deck" alert to its workers, is holding meetings throughout the today with workers and expect to have "hundreds and hundreds" of workers on duty to deal with outages that could occur this weekend.
Gross, however, cautioned that crews will not be able to restore power during the storm or when the winds are high because of the dangers that could create.
"Our line workers and tree workers will be out there as long as it's safe," he added.
But, he said, the utility is also urging its customers to be ready for the storm. CL&P has storm preparedness tips on its website, as does the American Red Cross. You can view a PDF of the Red Cross's storm tips above.