Maurice Blackwood needed to pick up dry cleaning Friday for a business trip on Monday.

Samantha Stathis and Charlie Suominen were buying groceries.

And Daniella Renaldo and Tara Ciufo had been working out at the gym.

But all agreed, as Friday afternoon rolled around, that it was time to get in the car and head home and out of harm's way as the snow storm expected to later morph into blizzard started intensifying.

Blackwood was at Royal Cleaners on the Post Road, loading his dry cleaning into the car. He'd driven there from the Bronx, grateful that the owners were willing to stay open until he got there. "They did me a huge favor," he said.

After driving in from New York, Blackwood had some words of advice: Go home. "It's raining in the Bronx, but as soon as you get into Stamford, it's snowing," he said, and the roads had become very slippery.

A good thing about that business trip? It's to Orlando, Fla.

Next door at the Chef's Table, Renaldo and Ciufo, both Fairfield University students, had just finished up their gym routines and were grabbing some lunch before heading back to campus.

"The roads aren't that bad yet," Renaldo said, "but they will be getting a lot worse. Some people are driving without their headlights on, you can't see them and that's scary."

Having worked out, the pair said they felt able to snack their way, guilt-free, through the snow storm.

The counter at the Firehouse Deli was busy, though manager Scott Bennet said he would probably be closing by 2 p.m. Friday. However, the deli was expecting to be open after noon Saturday, he said. "You can't lose a Saturday," Bennet said.

Grabbing a bite to eat at the deli were Stathis and Suominen, two more Fairfield University students.

"We went to the grocery store," Stathis said, "and ran some errands." Once they finished lunch, they said, they planned to head back to campus and hunker down for the rest of the storm.

As the afternoon wore on, more and more downtown businesses were turning off the lights and locking the doors, and heeding the advice of Gov. Dannel Malloy to go home and stay off the streets.

The town sent its non-essential municipal employees home at 11 a.m. and First Selectman Michael Tetreau, in declaring a State of Emergency in town, asked residents to stay home and leave the streets open for cleanup by pubic works crews.

The town's Emergency Operations Center was partially activated Friday, but was expected to be in full operation Saturday morning.