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This weekend, just a couple days after the 35th anniversary of the Blizzard of '78, New England is expected to get a new blizzard.
Forecasters say snow will begin Friday morning, possibly mixing with rain in the afternoon, before returning Friday night to heavy, wet snow that could fall at a rate of up to 3 inches an hour, according to the National Weather Service. The height of the storm is expected to hit late Friday night into Saturday morning, continuing into the afternoon Saturday.
Snowfall in Smithfield could range between 10 – 18 inches with the potential of 12 – 24 inches in areas. Northeasterly winds of 25 – 35 mph may gust as high as 50 mph, resulting in downed trees and power outages.
In the event of a power outage,Todd Manni of the Smithfield EMA said the agency would open a warming center/shelter in the event of a power outage or other utility interuption (such as a gas leak) that is expected to last for a period of 3 or more hours. Either the Smithfield High School or the Smithfield Senior Center would be used, he said, depending on the number of persons requiring assistance.
Keep an eye on updated weather conditions with the Smithfield Patch Weather Page, and check Smithfield Patch for storm information posted as soon as it comes in.
You can keep tabs on the town's situation directly at Smithfield's Emergency Information Page.
Parents [and students] looking for the quickest and easiest way to know whether their school is affected can sign up with The Rhode Island Broadcasting Association's text alert web page, for text message and email alerts as well.
Rhode Island school districts including the Smithfield School Department and private schools are included in the RIBA list.
To sign up, users are required to provide a name and ZIP code, as well as a phone number or email address. The system will then send a test email or text message, and in the case of text messages, include a code to enter to confirm sign-up.