The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says it’s running low on road salt for the highways. The news comes as another winter storm is expected to hit the state.
The department says it only has enough road salt for one more storm. That’s because this winter has not only been harsher than others, but because it has swept across a broader swath of the country. Most states in the northeast get their salt from the same sources, and with wicked weather blanketing the region, the regular suppliers are getting tapped out.
Meteorologists predict Wednesday’s storm will be quick and hard hitting. Glenn Field with the National Weather Service said the snow will hit around 4:00 am and start coming down hard during the morning commute, “maybe one to perhaps two inches per hour, for about four or five hours during that rush hour period,” said Field.
Some of you younger people may think we are in the middle of a snowy winter here in Rhode Island.
Those of a certain age know better. Thirty –six years ago today, on Feb. 6, 1978, the sky opened with snow that didn’t stop for more than 24 hours. Providence received two feet of the white stuff in the first 24 hours and more than 4 feet blanketed Woonsocket.
Many public and private schools across Rhode Island cancelled classes for today, as the snow storm gathered steam on Tuesday afternoon. In a rare move, many colleges and universities also shut down, including the Rhode Island School of Design and Rhode Island College. One notable exception, Brown University, cancelled only those classes scheduled before 10 a.m.
UPDATE (Jan.10): Verizon sent a trio of techs today to examine the Digital Lines. They found a splice point on a pole near the Wheeler Farm end of the circuit where water had gotten past the weatherproofing. The splice was re-done, with fresh (and better) weatherproofing sealant applied, and a weather box placed around it.
That's likely the culprit here: the problems started during the snowstorm, so probably water got in there and expanded/contracted repeatedly as the water froze and melted. That expansion wreaks havoc with (relatively) fragile copper telco wiring.
As of 3pm we are back on our main STL. We've noticed the volume levels seemed to have changed somewhat with this repair, too, so we're still tweaking things.
Providence school officials plan to start classes as scheduled Thursday, despite the first flakes of a major winter snowstorm. Like many public schools, Providence reopens for the first time Thursday after winter vacation.
District officials say they will watch for an afternoon weather update before finalizing a decision about Friday. Families and employees will likely receive notifications from the district on Thursday afternoon.
Rhode Islanders are digging out of the first snow storm of 2014. Six to 10 inches of snow fell Thursday into Friday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a winter chill advisory for the region as wind chills are expected to reach -15, with a high around 14 degrees. Forecasters predict the snow will taper off around 10:00am, winds will pick up reaching 20 mph.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee said he’s pleased with how the state handled the first snow storm of the year. With crews out keeping roads clear, his concern now is the bitter cold that’s gripped the state.