Snow Guns in Conn. Going Full Blast to Create Snow for Special Olympics

(NECN: Brian Burnell) - People driving past the Connecticut Light and Power complex on Routes 10 and 202 in Simsbury may have to cover their ears for a few days.  

The snow guns are going full blast to cover the lawn in front of CL&P with snow in time for the Connecticut Special Olympic Winter Games.

"This is, to our knowledge, the only location in the world that makes snow exclusively for a Special Olympics event,” said Mitch Gross of CL&P.

In all, 875 athletes and partners, 1,200 volunteers and 250 coaches will take part in the games.  Hundreds of them will gather in Simsbury.

"For the snowshoeing, which will go on directly behind me, and the cross-country skiing, which runs the route right along Hopmeadow St. … the idea is get about an 18-inch base of man-made snow so the athletes can do their thing,” Gross said.

To that end, the guns will use three quarters of a million gallons of water to create piles of snow that will be groomed in the days just before the games.

"The guns actually went off officially at 6:10 [on Monday] morning,” Gross said. “It all depends on the weather. If the conditions are right, the guns will go at least through Wednesday, possibly Thursday. The forecast says there may be some real snow coming Friday, so the guns can't run at that time. So our volunteer snow makers watch the weather and run the guns accordingly."

This is going to go on for a long time – 60 straight hours because they have a lot of snow to make, and then they have to hope Mother Nature cooperates because the games don't start until the first days of March.

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