As Rhode Island prepares for the first significant winter storm of the season, the McKee Administration is providing key updates and tips reminding Rhode Islanders how to stay safe.
A winter storm warning is in effect from Monday evening through Tuesday. The latest models predict that light snow will begin between 10:00 p.m. and midnight tonight with the heaviest snowfall occurring between 1:00 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Tuesday. We are expecting snowfall totals to range from 4 to 7 inches on average across Rhode Island. The timing of the storm is expected to make the morning commute difficult, requiring extreme caution from Rhode Islanders on the roads.
Here is how Rhode Island is preparing for the winter storm:
- The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will have their crews report for duty well ahead of the storm. RIDOT has 150 state trucks and more than 250 vendor trucks ready for the storm. RIDOT also has 45,000 tons of salt available for the roads which have already been pre-treated.
- The Office of Energy Resources is in contact with Rhode Island Energy (RIE) and the state’s delivered fuel terminals to closely monitor the incoming storm system and its impact on power and fuel supplies across the state. RIE will have additional utility crews standing by.
- Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency will be activating the Emergency Operations Center at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow. They are in communication with local EMA departments to ensure communities have the necessary supports in place. Find a list of local warming centers here: riema.ri.gov/planning-mitigation/resources-businesses/warming-centers.
- The Department of Housing has communicated with shelter providers and warming centers about the storm and has requested that they implement emergency shelter plans.
- Rhode Island State Police will be monitoring the highways and assisting motorists if needed.
Tips for the morning commute:
- 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
- Be careful when shoveling snow. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated to avoid overexertion