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7:52 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Storm blankets RI in snow

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A major winter storm has dumped a blanket of white across Rhode Island and forecasters say the heavy overnight snowfall should continue throughout this morning. National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole Belk says much of the state could see more than a foot of snow by the end of the day.

"For most of the state we're expecting 12 to 16 inches of snow," Belk says. "Newport County a little bit less at 8 to 12. And by the time we get to Block Island, we're expecting 3 to 6 inches."

The National Weather Service says North Foster has seen the highest totals at more than 14 inches.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Belk says the snowfall should slow down this afternoon and end by seven o'clock tonight. A winter storm warning remains in effect until eight o'clock tonight for all of Rhode Island except Block Island.

So far the snow has resulted in only a few minor accidents in Rhode Island. State Police Lieutenant Robert Cunniff says only one driver was taken to the hospital overnight.

"There was just one on Route 37, we had a vehicle that was involved in a rollover. And she was transported to the hospital." State Police have also responded to a downed tree in Cranston. Right now, they are reporting no road or bridge closures.

CLOSINGS

Today's storm has prompted the closure of virtually all schools in the state. Cities and towns throughout Rhode Island have issued parking bans, and many businesses have told workers to stay home for the day.

Officials at The Warwick Mall say they will be closed until at least 2 this afternoon and that they will release more detailed plans later this morning.

TF Green officials say the Warwick airport remains open but there are numerous cancellations. Air travelers are urged to check with their individual carrier for specific cancellations.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.