Blizzard of '13 Information Center
Stop back here during and after the blizzard.
EAST PROVIDENCE PATCH STORM CENTRAL UPDATES, CLOSINGS & MORE:
Sunday, Feb. 10
The East Providence parking ban remains in effect until further notice, according to Wayne Barnes, deputy director of the Emergency Management Agency. DPW crews continue to try and widen streets and clear slush from corners and other areas.
The warming shelter that was open Saturday and earlier Sunday has been closed. Approximately 30 residents used the facility Saturday, there were no attendees Sunday.
As of 6 pm, 194 customers were still without power. National Grid hoped to get the vast majority of those back up during the night.
Street flooding is possible Monday with the forecast of rain and milder temperatures.
Gordon School in East Providence will be closed Monday.
Providence Country Day School in East Providence will be closed Monday.
National Grid expects to have power restored for most Rhode Islanders by late tonight, according to a new release sent out minutes ago. Power should be restored to everyone Monday.
East Providence schools will be closed Monday, officials have announced.
Only about 500 customers remain without power in East Providence, according to the National Grid Outage Map. More than 16,500 customers had power restored by Saturday evening and overnight into Sunday. The remaining outages appear scattered all over the city.
Saturday, Feb. 9
The Newman YMCA remains closed, but you can get electric power and a hot shower beginning Sunday morning at three other Greater Providence YMCAs. Just show your ID and sign a waiver at:
- Cranston YMCA, 1225 Park Ave, Cranston, 401-943-0444
- East Side/Mt. Hope YMCA, 438 Hope Street, Providence, 401-521-0155
- Kent County YMCA, 900 Centerville Rd, Warwick, 401-828-0130
Many East Providence streets are still covered with snow and many traffic lights remain off; drive carefully around the city; stop at a traffic signal if it is out and then proceed.
You are urged to be a good neighbor by the RI Emergency Management Agency as RI digs out from the Blizzard of '13:
* Clear driveways, sidewalks, and walkways of snow and ice.
* Clear snow from areas around furnace vents to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
* Make sure generators are properly vented and are being used according to manufacturer's instructions.
* Go to a shelter if you do not have heat or power in your home. To find a shelter near you, visit www.riema.ri.gov or call 211.
* Make sure outdoor pets have a supply of water that is not frozen.
* Continue to follow the local media for any important updates.
Gov. Chafee said at an RI Emergency Management Agency news conference that most main roads and highways in the state have been cleared of snow.
Keep an eye on snow accumulation on business and residential buildings.
In many cases, roof ice dams can form causing water build-up, leading to interior damage, according to the RI Emergeny Management Agency. To minimize the risk of over-stressing a building roof due to accumulated or drifting snow:
* Watch for large snow build-up or snowdrifts on your roofs.
* If roof snow can be safely removed from ground level, use a snow rake (available at most hardware or home improvement stores) to remove snow. Be aware of where power lines are located on the roof as metal snow rakes will conduct electricity if they come into contact with a power line.
* Avoid working on ladders, as ladder rungs can ice up and become slippery. Snow and ice can also collect on boot soles.
* Flat roofs can be shoveled clear, but only if you can determine that the roof is safe to stand upon. Use caution when on the roof to avoid injuries or falls.
* Flat roof drainage systems should be kept clear to minimize the risk of excess roof ponding.
* Large icicles can form on roof overhangs, but do not necessarily mean ice damming is occurring. Icicles overhanging doorways and walkways can be dangerous and should be carefully removed.
All of the above-mentioned recommendations should only be performed by healthy, able-bodied adults, as the snow is heavy, and roofs and other surfaces may be slippery. Protective headgear and eyewear is recommended.
For regularly updated information on closures and parking bans, visit www.riema.ri.gov and click on the Latest Closing and Delays tab.
The driving bans in Rhode Island and Massachusetts have been lifted, but officials are still asked motorists to stay off the roads unless there is an emergency.
A "warming center" was opened at East Providence High School.
East Providence is opening an emergency shelter at the high school at noon for people without heat, according to Fire Chief Oscar Elmasian.
National Grid reports that most of the city is without electricity this morning -- about 17,000 of the 22,000 customers in East Providence.
Friday, Feb. 8
Scattered power outages in East Providence leave about 80 National Grid customers without power. No estimated time for restoration. More than 71,000 customers are without power statewide. Click here for the National Grid power outage map.
Gov. Chafee expanded on Rhode Island's state of emergency by banning traffic on Routes 95, 195, 295 and 146 starting at 5 p.m. There are exceptions:
• public safety vehicles and workers, including contract personnel;
• public works vehicles and workers, including contract personnel;
• government officials on official business;
• utility company vehicles and workers;
• health care workers who travel to and from work in order to provide essential health services;
• news media;
• travel necessary to maintain and deliver critical private sector services such as energy, fuel supplies, financial systems and critical commodities;
• travel to support business operations that provide critical services to the public, including gas stations, food stores and hardware stores.
East Providence police began tagging and towing cars that violate the parking ban that is in effect until further notice. You are advised to get your vehicle off the street or it will be towed. Consider that a stern warning.
East Providence's Emergency Management Deputy Director, Wayne Barnes, released this information:
"The City of East Providence Public Safety, Department of Public Works, and Emergency Management now have storm operations underway, and will for the duration of this evening. We continue to work with the RI Emergency Management Agency and National Grid regarding the storm.
Weather-wise, for the Providence area...a Blizzard Warning is in effect through midday Saturday. Snow will continue to increase, and will be unusually heavy tonight through early Saturday. Northeast winds will be strong with gusts to 50-60 mph during that time period with blizzard conditions at times.
Total snowfall of over 20 inches appears likely. Accumulating snow should be just about done by noon Saturday, any additional after that would be only inch or two. Expect power outages in the area tonight and Saturday. This is a very serious storm.
Non-essential city employees have been sent home and City Hall was closed at 12 pm.
Motorists are advised that conditions during the afternoon commute time will be poor, and people should stay off of the roads if at all possible tonight and early Saturday.
A parking ban is in effect in East Providence until further notice.
Storm operations will continue as long necessary during the weekend to clear our streets and get back to business as usual."
- Gov. Chafee declared a state of emergency in RI at arond noon today. He said: "We have a very serious storm approaching. I encourage all Rhode Islanders to take this seriously. This is a major storm. Be prepared." RIDOT is asking motorists to stay off the roadways except for emergencies.
- A parking ban is in effect in East Providence until further notice.
- Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed an executive order that bans travel on highways at 4 pm today. If you need to go into nearby Seekonk or Swansea, keep that in mind.
- Gov. Chafee has asked that drivers be off the roads by noon or as soon as possible early this afternoon.
- City Hall is closing at noon today.
- Weaver Library and the Riverside Branch Library both are closing at noon today and will be closed all-day Saturday.
- Snow started to fall in East Providence about two hours ago if you hadn't noticed.
- Driving conditions are expected to go downhill through the day with accumulations of 3 to 5 inches expected by the Friday commute. Most of the snow is expected to fall between 7 pm today and 7 am Saturday.
- All RIPTA service, including non-medical RIde trips, will suspend at noon.
- The blizzard watch issued for the last few days has been upgraded to a blizzard warning.
- 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.
The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) opened its Joint Information Center at 7 am today. A Joint Information Center is a coordinated effort among state agencies and partners to create one point of contact for public information.
Thursday, Feb. 7
- East Providence Public Schools
- Gordon School
- Providence Country Day School
- East Providence Public Schools
Thursday, Feb. 7
Remember the parking ban in East Providence. DPW drivers are asking you to please get your car off the street. It makes their jobs so much easier.
A gentle reminder: BE CAREFUL! Snowblowers can be dangerous. Police and fire departments always seem to have to respond to snowblower injuries.
|For other updates on weather and storm news (and more!), follow East Providence Patch on Facebook and Twitter or sign-up for our e-mail newsletter.|
Customers Urged to Keep in Touch
In addition to Outage Central, National Grid offers a number of ways for customers to report outages or learn about restoration efforts and important safety information. Here’s how:
Outage reporting hotline – Rhode Island customers should call 1-800-465-1212 to report an outage.
Text messages – Customers can receive text message alerts and updates through a free service the company offers. Text the word STORM to NGRID (64743) to sign up for the service.
National Grid uses social media – Facebook and Twitter – to communicate with customers about service issues and interruptions during storms.
E-mail alerts are also available to customers who create an online profile on the company’s website. All alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request.
Customers can use their mobile devices to track outage information and storm related safety tips through National Grid’s new mobile site that can be accessed at nationalgrid.com.
Here are some tips to help you avoid injuries and stay safe:
- People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
- It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay in touch, as National Grid provides news media with timely information regarding service restoration efforts.
- If you plan to use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize crew safety.
- If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
- After the storm, be sure never to touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see a downed power line, keep everyone away and call us immediately at 1-800-465-1212.
- Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.
- Please leave damaged poles alone. Handling or cutting utility poles—or burning them in your fireplace, woodstove or furnace—potentially exposes you to the chemicals used to treat and preserve these poles.
- Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.
- Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.
You Can Help
See a tree down in your neighborhood? Know of a power outage? Just saw a store clerk put out more snow melt? Please use this story on Barrington Patch to help out your neighbors.
Barrington Patch is all about connecting neighbors and helping neighbors so we hope you’ll find this information hub helpful during the storm.
East Providence Numbers to Remember
Police Department 435-7600
Fire Department - 435-7677
DPW Highway Department - 435-7751
City Manager - 435-7521