Storm Tapers Off, Power Restored To Most Rhode Island Customers

Feb 8, 2016

Snow fell across Rhode Island Monday, just days after Friday's storm, which knocked out power to thousands of National Grid customers. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning until 7 a.m. Tuesday. Many schools canceled  a second day of classes, and municipalities are enforcing parking bans. 

Heaviest Wind, Snow Have Ended

Forecasters expected just two or three more inches of snow to fall as a winter storm tapered off across Rhode Island around 3:30 Monday afternoon. National Weather Service Meteorologist Alan Dunham said snow totals up to eight inches were possible in the hardest hit parts of the state.

Road conditions, which led to several spin outs in the morning hours, may continue to be treacherous during the evening commute.

"Roads are still going to be bad all night because there’s not going to be any melting overnight," said Dunham. "We’re seeing a lot of reports of very slippery road conditions."

While the worst of the storm may have passed, Dunham was keeping an eye on the days ahead.

"We have a couple of systems that’ll be passing over and south of the region, so there’ll be a chance of snow both on Tuesday and Wednesday itself," he said.

National Grid, which reported as many as 250 customers without power earlier in the day, said the number of outages had fallen to just six. The utility reported dryer, lighter snow that made this storm less dangerous to power lines than the snow that fell on Friday.

National Grid Reports More Power Outages

As of Monday morning, National Grid had restored power for nearly all of the 39,000 customers who lost power during Friday’s storm. But winds kicked up in the early morning hours, contributing to power outages for about 250 customers. National Grid said crews responded to the new outages.

“We have about 160 line crews who are working in the state today, along with 70 tree crews," said National Grid spokesman David Graves. "All of the personnel who were on staff over the weekend are still working.”

Graves said the snow from this storm was not as heavy and wet as Friday’s snow, which took down wires over the weekend. He expected crews to work throughout the day to restore power where needed. 

Roads are slick as state troopers respond to spin outs

State police are warning drivers to use caution on slippery roads as more snow falls in Rhode Island. State Police Captain John Allen says the snow is weighing down trees already laden with snow and making roads dangerous.

“We’re responding to a number of calls for trees down, power lines down, and mostly spin outs," said Allen. "Most of the accidents we’re encountering are one-car spin outs, so, people just need to take it easy out there.”

Allen says that by mid-morning, troopers had already responded to several spin outs. He said extra troopers are on duty. 

Public Transportation affected by forecast

RIPTA  detoured several bus routes Monday morning, and the Department of Transportation reported at least one crash, and worsening roads.

Meteorologist Alan Dunham said snow is expected fall heavily through the morning into the early afternoon.

“The heaviest snow and worst conditions will be generally from eight on the coast, nine o’clock inland, to about two o’clock this afternoon, then snow will start to gradually diminish,” said Dunham.

The state could see about six to 10 inches of snow by Tuesday, forecasters predict. Dunham said in addition to the snow, high winds will make for difficult travel conditions.

“Winds will be quite gusty, so even though it’s just a winter storm warning, there will be times when visibility may be down to a quarter mile or less at times,” said Dunham.

Last week, wet, heavy snow snapped trees and electrical lines, cutting power to thousands

Meteorologist Alan Dunham said temperatures will hover around freezing in the morning, making for similar flakes, at least during the first few hours of the storm.

“But colder air will be moving into the region over the course of the day, so looking for the snow to become fluffier, lighter by late morning into the early afternoon,” said Dunham. “However that will allow for more blowing and drifting.”

As of Monday morning dozens of National Grid customers were still without power due to damage from last week’s storm, according to national grid.

The week isn’t expected to clear up any time soon; meteorologists are keeping their eyes on two other storms, which could hit Tuesday and Wednesday.