The Snowstorm That Wasn't

Mar 22, 2018

After dire warnings about accumulating snow, dangerous driving conditions, wind and power outages, schools closed across Rhode Island (except for Pawtucket, the only district that got this one right) and state offices shut down.

Then we waited. And waited, and waited.

Outside, the wind appeared to pick up a bit. A few tiny flakes fluttered and danced through the air... Then disappeared on contact with the ground, as temperatures remained above freezing.

At mid-day Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo assured snow-weary residents that the storm was still coming.

“Forecast is still steady, still predicting high winds, a foot of snow, dangerous driving conditions. So again, message is the same: If you’re out and about now, don’t get stuck," said Raimondo. "It’s going to be a messy, dangerous commute this evening and into the night.”

But by then doubt had begun to set in. Temperatures did not seem cold enough for a major snowstorm, and the governor was left defending her decision to close state offices for the day. She said it made sense to err on the side of caution.

As evening set in without the promised foot of snow, spokesman Joshua Block told The Providence Journal, "the governor will always err on the side of public safety."

Around dinnertime, snow did finally come, renewing hopes (fears?) that we might still wake up to a winter wonderland at the start of spring. But, alas (hooray?), it was not to be. The storm left only a dusting on the grass and enough slush to make getting out of the driveway a little more complicated than usual. Most schools opened Thursday with a two-hour delay.

As one resident commented in an email to Rhode Island Public Radio, the "four-easter," a moniker social media denizens had picked for what would have been the fourth nor'easter of March, wimped out. Call it the "PoorEaster," he wrote.