The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) today announced that it is preparing for a significant storm expected to impact the state with high wind and rain starting late Christmas Eve until about noon on Christmas Day.

According to RIEMA, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boston has advised a High Wind Warning for Rhode Island with winds gusts up to 75 mph. Expect downed power lines, trees, and the possibility of widespread power outages. Additionally, a Flood Watch has been issued for Rhode Island with a forecast of two to three inches of rain statewide. Along with the snowmelt, this may cause significant flooding of urban and poor drainage areas. Expect a Gale Warning for the coast as the storm approaches.

The RIEMA asks Rhode Islanders to be aware of holiday decorations you have outside and bring them inside or securely tie them down. Because the wind is expected to cause power outages, charge up your laptops, tablets, and phones. If you lose power, call National Grid at (800) 465-1212.

RIEMA Director Marc Pappas says be prepared and have patience. “Monitor the weather closely and be ready to take action as the wind is expected to be a major factor early Christmas morning. Along with the wind, this storm could cause problems on Rhode Island’s roadways and bridges, and minor flooding in low lying areas.”

RIEMA will continue to monitor weather conditions as we continue to receive updates from the National Weather Service. RIEMA will post updates on social media.

At publishing time, the following weather alerts had been published for Newport;

As of 5:37 pm on December 23, the National Weather Service forecast for Newport was the following;

Thursday – A slight chance of showers after 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 54. South wind 9 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Thursday Night – Rain, mainly after 3am. Patchy fog after 4am. Low around 52. Windy, with a southeast wind 21 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Christmas Day – Rain, mainly before 5pm. The rain could be heavy at times. Patchy fog before 1pm. High near 58. Windy, with a south wind 26 to 31 mph decreasing to 18 to 23 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Friday Night – A chance of showers, mainly before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 30. Southwest wind 14 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).