Many public schools remained closed for a second day, as residents continued the work of digging out from the snowstorm that pummeled Rhode Island and the South Coast on Thursday. In New Bedford, officials warned that a deep freeze could cause more problems.
New Bedford's mayor, John Mitchell, urged drivers to avoid city streets, which remained slippery and dangerous. That’s what led to the cancellation of Friday classes for public school students. Making matters worse, temperatures were forecast to plummet below zero in the coming days.
“It’ll mean that roads, despite the best efforts of all the guys that were out there last night, are going to remain icy,” said Mitchell during a press conference Friday.
Temperatures had already dipped into the teens on Friday across much of the region, and were expected to drop even further through the weekend.
“We’re predicting temperatures hovering around negative seven,” said Mitchell. “That’s not the wind chill, that’ll be the real temperature.”
While New Bedford didn’t get as much snow as some areas, the coastal city was whipped by wind gusts around 40 miles per hour.
“With the winds, dying down but still significant, and the fact that everything is frozen we’re going to have more tree limbs down,” said Mitchell. “So with that there will be more power outages. With power outages we sometimes lose heat. That’s going to be a problem for folks.”
The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for most of Rhode Island and the South Coast extending through the weekend.