A wintry mix of rain and snow is falling across Rhode Island. The roads are open, but the RI Dept. of Transportation says there is widespread flooding. The Rhode Island Transit Authority has suspended all service. Most schools are closed, as are state and city offices.
Snow is expected to fall across Rhode Island through mid-afternoon. The National Weather Service says we can expect some sleet and then more snow. The forecast calls for between nine and 12 inches of snow.
Bob Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says high winds will also play a significant role in the storm.
“Across southern Rhode Island, the winds could be especially strong, with gusts over 60 mph near the coasts and is likely to cause some damage,” said Thompson.
Thompson says across northern Rhode Island, winds may not be as high but could still create blizzard conditions. He says the snow is expected to slow between 7 and 8 p.m.
Rhode Island State Police report 16 minor accidents as of Tuesday afternoon. They say there have been no other major storm-related incidents, despite the storm's intensity.
RIPTA says it has canceled all service as of 1 p.m. Most flights out of T.F. Green Airport are canceled. And most Amtrak service is suspended in the region.
Roads are currently open in Rhode Island, but conditions are dangerous. The RI Emergency Management Agency advises travelers to stay off the roads if at all possible. If you have to travel, they say, plan to take your time and keep your distance from snow plows. Connecticut has banned all travel on state roads.
National Grid is reporting several power outages across Rhode Island. Check for outages here.
Darlene Masse is a spokesperson for the company. She says the combination of wet snow and high winds has prompted the company to call in crews from Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
“We’ll have over 400 total overhead, substation, underground, and wires down crews in Rhode Island. And we’ll also have 92 forestry crews throughout the state,” said Masse. “And those crews will be well positioned to respond to power outages caused by tomorrow’s nor’easter.”
Masse warns that if customers see a downed wire, they should assume it is live and call or tweet National Grid so lineworkers can take care of it.
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