About two dozen people were taking advantage of the "warming center" opened at East Providence High School Saturday afternoon, Feb. 9, in the aftermath of the Blizzard of 2013 -- even as most of the power in the city was being restored.
About 3,050 customers, mostly in Riverside, still did not have power about 8:30 pm. More than 17,000 customes were without power at around mid-day on Saturday when the city started digging out from under a 18-20 inch snowfall.
"We came as soon as it opened," said a woman who seemed to be leading the playing of a board game. The group was spread out on blankets spread out on the floor near a bleacher in the gymnasium.
Cots were expected to be brought in later in the day, according to one of the patrol officers on duty.
Power remained out in about 75 percent of the city at 4 pm. The area around the high school was one of the neighborhoods with power. Traffic lights were working. The Shell convenience store and gas station down the street on Pawtucket Avenue was open and doing quite a bit of business.
Most of the traffic lights in other parts of the city were still out until around 7:30 pm, though. And traffic was moving slowly. The sounds of snow blowers could be heard just about everywhere. Piles of snow were four to six feet high in most areas.
Most streets were still snow-covered as dusk began plunging most of the city into icy darkness with temperatures falling into the teens. National Grid was reportedly working on repairing transmission lines that were hammered by the 50-60 mph winds that accompanied the snowstorm that swept over southern New England Friday night into Saturday morning.
Lights began coming back in most of East Providence a few hours later.