Despite predictions for a powdery, dry snow, Tuesday's storm brought plenty of wet, heavy white flakes, and by 10 a.m. power outages had begun to spread.
National Grid reported nearly 22,000 homes and businesses without power in Rhode Island, including more than 5,000 in North Kingstown and 1,200 in Little Compton, nearly half the utility's customers in that town. In Exeter, more than 2,000 homes and businesses had lost power, more than half of the utility's customers there.
In Massachusetts, about 1,000 National Grid customers in Fall River faced a day of stormy weather without power. The utility estimated power would not be restored before 6:30 p.m.
It's Snow Secret, The Third Nor'easter Is Here
As heavy snow began falling Tuesday morning in the third nor'easter this month, forecasters expected strong winds to follow, causing blizzard conditions in some areas. Rhode Island Public Radio spoke with Kim Buttrick from the National Weather Service about what to expect for Tuesday's storm.
At 8:45 a.m. Tuesday morning, National Grid reported 93 active outages in Rhode Island affecting 5,898 homes and businesses. The majority of the outages were in East Greenwich with 1,387 customers affected. In Massachusetts, 21,456 National Grid customers were without power. The majority of the outages were reported in Essex county along the coast. Rhode Island Public Radio will continue to monitor and update outage numbers through the storm.
Schools closed across the region, as did Rhode Island state offices. Flights were cancelled at area airports. You can find a full list of closures and parking bans here.
On The Roads, Accidents Begin During Early Morning Hours
State police reported six accidents on Rhode Island roads by 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday, including one minor injury. A state police spokeswoman said a transformer blew on Bridge Street in Hope Valley causing a power outage. National Grid had been notified and was reportedly responding.
Emergency management officials urged residents to stay off the roads during the storm, which was expected to dump at least a foot of snow in Rhode Island and possibly as much as two feet in some parts of the South Shore in Massachusetts. At the usual commuting hour on Tuesday, it appeared that many people heeded those warnings. A few cars could be seen driving through Providence as the storm began picking up steam, but far fewer than a typical day.
RI Gov: State Is Ready For The Storm
On Monday night, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo told residents the state was ready for what she called a "major snow event." She asked employers to be flexible and allow workers to stay at home. The governor also announced a ban on tractor-trailer traffic from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday.