Region Braces for Heavy Winds, Up to 8 Inches of Snow

Mar 5, 2013

The snow will get heavier, the winds stronger, and National Grid is working to avoid power outages.

The latest information on cancelations and closures can be found here.

Some towns have parking bans but no public schools are delaying the start of school this morning as snow falls across the state.

A wet snow falls on downtown Providence Thursday afternoon.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Doody predicts more dangerous driving conditions later today. “We’re expecting that the snow threat will probably be more during the overnight hours tonight.  The trickier driving probably would be during the period we’re expecting the most snow.  So again this evening into the overnight hours.”

Doody says when the storm ends Friday afternoon the northern half of Rhode Island could get up to eight inches of snow.  The coastline will probably get two to six inches.

Wind gusts will gain in strength throughout the day.  They will reach bursts of up to 55 miles per hour along the coast and up to 45 miles per hour inland.

On the Roads

Joseph Baker is in charge of road and bridge maintenance at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. He says the roads should stay clear through the evening commute.

"During the day, it’s not accumulating very much on the roadways, as the roadways are staying just above freezing,” says Baker. “But as the sun goes down tonight, certainly with the wind blowing and the snow falling, there’s going to be some very much reduced visibility on the highways, and we might start to see some snow accumulation on any untreated surfaces.”

Baker says there will be more than 100 snow plows out on the roads through the night.

Utility Crews are on Stand-by

National Grid says it’s ready for any power outages that might result from the snow storm Thursday.  The utility is bringing in dozens of crews from out of state.

National Grid has brought in 70 crews from out of state to deal with any power outages that may result from the snow storm. This is on top of the 60 crews already in Rhode Island.

National Grid spokesman David Graves says this should be  enough to deal with any outages. "These crews are going to be kept locally. They’re going to be prepared, ready to go when they’re needed, if they’re needed. But we feel confident that we have adequate resources in place to get the job done of restoration should there be any service interruptions."

Graves says the company is prepared for whatever comes but they don’t expect it to be as bad as the February blizzard. "The precipitation will not be that heavy so we’re still not looking at a storm of significant size comparable to what we experienced in February. Probably the highest wind gusts are expected to be between 45 and 55 miles an hour which is again less than what we experienced in February."

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