Rhode Island is Ready: Governor McKee Outlines State’s Storm Preparedness Efforts Ahead of Weekend Snow

 Rhode Island is Ready: Governor McKee Outlines State’s Storm Preparedness Efforts Ahead of Weekend Snow
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PROVIDENCE, RI – Rhode Island is fully prepared to respond to the first significant winter storm of the season that is expected to impact the state this weekend. Today, Governor Dan McKee provided an update on his Administration’s preparedness efforts.
A winter storm watch is in effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday night. The latest models predict that light snow will begin between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday with the heaviest snow period occurring between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday. We are expecting snowfall totals to range from 1 to 10 inches across various sections of Rhode Island.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will have crews report for duty three to four hours ahead of the expected storm start time to pre-treat roads. RIDOT has more than 425 plows available for the storm, an increase in resources from previous winter seasons. RIDOT is fully stocked with 65,000 tons of salt. There will also be extra tow trucks on standby to quickly clear any potential disabled vehicles in the Washington Bridge bypass lanes.
  • The Office of Energy Resources is in contact with Rhode Island Energy (RIE) and the state’s delivered fuel terminals to closely monitor the storm’s impact on power and fuel supplies across the state. RIE is adding 65 external line crews on top of their 50 internal line crews to support swift power restoration efforts. RIE is also bringing in 60 forestry management teams to help with downed trees and other vegetation. RIE will open its storm room on Saturday and will be using Bally’s in Lincoln as a staging site as Northern Rhode Island is expected to receive the most significant snowfall.
  • The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is in communication with municipal leaders and local emergency management agencies across the state to ensure communities have the necessary support in place. RIEMA will coordinate situational updates to state government, municipalities and other partners throughout the weekend. RIEMA’s list of local warming centers can be found here: riema.ri.gov/planning-mitigation/resources-businesses/warming-centers.
  • The Department of Housing announced locations of emergency pop-up shelters that will be open to Rhode Islanders in need. These are in addition to the state’s existing shelter network. Locations include:
  • Newport: MLK Community Center, 20 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd, Newport, RI 02840
  • Peace Dale (South Kingstown): Welcome House, 8 North Rd, Peace Dale, RI 02879
  • Providence: Crossroads RI Community Room, 160 Broad St, Providence, RI 02903
  • Westerly: WARM Center, 56 Spruce St, Westerly, RI 02891
  • West Warwick: West Warwick Civic Center, 100 Factory St, West Warwick, RI 02893
  • Woonsocket: CCA, 66 Social St, Woonsocket, RI 02895
Overflow: Vida Church 120 Prospect St, Woonsocket, RI 02895
  • Rhode Island State Police is fully staffed and troopers are standing by to assist motorists and provide assistance on roads and wherever elsewhere they are needed.
Tips for safe driving this weekend:
  • Make sure car brakes, tires and batteries are in good condition.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel during storms, especially when snowfall is the heaviest.
  • Remove all snow from your car before driving.
  • Plan additional time for travel.
  • Reduce speed – most of the crashes and disabled vehicles we see during winter storms involve motorists driving too fast for the conditions.
  • Provide plenty of stopping distance in front of you.
  • Avoid distractions – put the cell phone away.
  • Don’t crowd the plow or pass plow trucks, plow drivers have limited visibility and maneuverability.
  • Take note that parking bans may be in effect.

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