During a press conference this afternoon, Governor Dan McKee declared a state of emergency in Rhode Island and issued a statewide travel ban.
A tractor-trailer ban will be in effect from 6 am to 11:59 pm on Saturday. A full travel ban, which includes all other motor vehicles, will be in effect from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday. The travel ban includes all roads in the entire state, not just state roads.
Update – Governor McKee announced at 4 pm on Saturday that the travel ban will be extended for all motor vehicles until midnight tonight.
Governor McKee asked residents to hunker down and to avoid traveling on Sunday unless there is an emergency.
McKee said the State of Emergency will help access federal resources to help with cleanup and recovery efforts following the storm.
A Blizzard Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for all of Rhode Island and portions of eastern and northeastern Massachusetts.
The Blizzard Warning is in effect from midnight tonight to midnight on Saturday.
RIPTA Suspends All Service
In anticipation of blizzard conditions, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will suspend all service effective tomorrow, Saturday, January 29, 2022, in conjunction with the vehicular travel ban instituted by Governor McKee. Service will be reinstated as soon as conditions are safe for RIPTA vehicles to travel. RIPTA will announce when service is reinstated.
More from Rhode Island Department of Transportation;
TRAVEL BANS IN EFFECT FOR JANUARY 29 FOR TRACTOR-TRAILERS, ALL OTHER VEHICLES BECAUSE OF EXPECTED BLIZZARD CONDITIONS
With heavy snow and high winds expected to create blizzard conditions and treacherous driving on Rhode Island roads on Saturday, January 29, Governor Dan McKee has issued an executive order setting in place two types of travel bans.
From 6 a.m. to midnight, all tractor-trailers, except those carrying emergency supplies, will be prohibited. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., a general ban on all motor vehicles will be in effect. Further details on both restrictions can be found here. The bans are for all state and local roads in Rhode Island. This restriction will allow the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, as well as city and town departments of public works, to keep roadways passable and safe for emergency vehicles. The latest forecasts call for snow starting shortly after midnight with snowfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour possible during the daytime hours. Combined with high winds, travel will be very difficult. All motorists are advised to plan ahead now to avoid travel on Saturday.
Any drivers who have to be out, including those permitted under the conditions of the bans, should drive with reduced speed, avoid distraction, and buckle up. And if you encounter plows, do not pass them. The safest place in a storm is a safe distance behind plow trucks.