Editor's note: Get updates on local stories just like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Fast signup here.
SMITHFIELD PATCH STORM CENTRAL UPDATES, CLOSINGS & MORE:
Saturay, Feb. 8 —
Governor Chafee has expanded travel restrictions to a full travel ban on all roads effective immediately.
Todd Manni at the Smithfield EMA reports power outages in Smithfield at about 110. "Extraordinary snowfall rate and very gusty winds" at 2:15 a.m. Snow drifts between 3 and 4 feet with about 20 inches were already on the ground.
Friday, Feb. 8 —
Catching up on a few items, in case others missed them:
First, there's a parking ban in effect for Smithfield through Sunday.
Second, the Providence Journal reports Smithfield's Emergency Operations Center is open
Third - Smithfield EMA presents the new “Ready Smithfield – Severe Winter Weather” brochure (.pdf) to help you prepare for severe winter storms.
Strong winds and snow have started to cause power outages throughout the state, south into North Providence has knocked out power to 1,250 customers.
Due to safety concerns, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee beginning at 5 p.m. tonight (Friday) and continuing until further notice.
In declaring a State of Emergency today, Gov Lincoln Chafee and officials warned parts of Rhode Island — including Smithfield — could see as much as 30 inches of snow by the time the storm abates tomorrow afternoon.
Smithfield residents should be getting off the roads and hunkering down as the storm picks up steam. There is a very good chance Smithfield will see 2 feet of snow, according to wpri.com, but areas from Providence and points north could potentially get 30 inches.
"We have a very serious storm approaching," Chafee said. "I encourage all Rhode Islanders to take this seriously. This is a major storm. Be prepared."
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is urging motorists to get off the roads and stay home until the storm ends Saturday afternoon. Road crews throughout the state — including in Johnston — are working around the clock tonight to keep roads passable for emergency vehicles.
Visibility is already poor on the highways, and will only worsen as the snow and winds increase throughout the day. Gusts of 60 mph are anticipated throughout the region.
National Grid has warned Rhode Islanders to expect prolonged power outages as the heavy snow and wind could knock down tree limbs and power lines. Crews will have difficulty reaching areas in need of repair as the storm is expected to dump 2-3 inches of snow an hour during its height this evening, into Saturday morning.
A brief report on conditions along Putnam Pike and at Apple Valley Mall this morning as people polished off last minute errands before the storm (photos).
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency for RI, the Providence Journal reports. People are being asked to stay off the roads and inside as the storm intensifies.
- The blizzard watch issued for the last few days has been upgraded to a blizzard warning, according to the town's EMA.
- Gov. Lincoln Chafee has put the state's Adverse Weather Policy into effect — time missed from work during the storm has to be recorded as time off without pay, annual leave, or personal leave.
- All RIPTA service, including non-medical RIde trips, will suspend at noon.
Thursday, Feb. 7 —
With a winter storm on its way and the town under a Blizzard Watch, school cancelations are already being issued for tomorrow:
- Smithfield Public Schools: Closed Tomorrow; Cancel Activities
- Masters Regional Academy: Closed Friday Feb. 8
- St Philip School: Closed Tomorrow
- Nationwide Diesel Technologies: CDL & WELD Classes Canceled 2-8-13 ; Stay tuned for weekend classes
- Masters Regional Academy: Closed Friday Feb. 8
4:41 p.m.: The Smithfield EMA has released its final storm update for the day:
In summary, expect 12 - 24 inches of snow with strong gusty winds. Light snow begins in the morning, becoming steady by about noon and extremely heavy by 5 p.m.. Sustained winds of 25 - 35 MPH with gusts of 55 MPH as the storm intensifies during the overnight hours.
This is a dangerous storm system and has the potential of resembling the the Blizzard of 1978. Make your final preparations this evening and complete travel no later the mid-morning on Friday. Report power outages by calling National Grid at 1-400-465-1212. Avoid downed wires and contact the Smithfield Police Department (401-231-2500) or Smithfield Fire Department (401-949-1233). Expect all wires to be energized and dangerous.
Lastly, look out for those neighbors who may need extra help or may be compromised due to health concerns.
Good luck and stay safe - Todd Manni, EMA
- Join in the fun. Upload your photos of the snow to our Storm Central! Just click upload on this post.
For instant updates on weather and storm news (and more!), follow Smithfield Patch on Facebook and Twitter.
Scroll down for important phone numbers, websites and more. Stay with Smithfield Patch as we keep you updated throughout the storm.
See a tree down in your neighborhood? Notice a road is icy? Just saw a store clerk put out more snow melt products? Please use this story on Woonsocket Patch to help out your neighbors.
As we prepare for the winter storm, we want to make sure that Woburn stays connected. For live updates during the storm, be sure to download our App for your smartphone or tablet and 'like' Smithfield Patch on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Smithfield Patch is all about connecting neighbors and helping neighbors so we hope you’ll find this information hub helpful during the storm. Stay safe, folks!
IMPORTANT NUMBERS & WEBSITES:
- In an emergency, dial 911
- Police Department: (401) 231-2500
- Fire Department: (401) 949-1330
- DPW:(401) 233-1034
- Smithfield EMA: (401) 233-1033.
To report/view power outages:
National Grid Emergency Outage Reporting Phone Number 1-800-465-1212.
Smartphone users can also text STORM to NGRID (64743) for outage alerts.
To check the status of outages in your area, visit National Grid Outage Central for Rhode Island.
Online and on Twitter:
The town has set up three Twitter feeds where important information will be posted:
[Links in bold go directly to the agencies' websites. No account needed to access Twitter feeds.]
Listen to NOAA radio:
Smithfield EMA has a link to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radio frequencyhere.