Rhode Island braces for winter storm
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• 3 p.m. Monday: Cranston Public Schools are delayed one hour on Tuesday
• 6 p.m. Sunday: Johnston and Warwick Schools are closed Monday, Feb. 11.
• 5 p.m. Sunday: McDermott Pool and Thayer and Warburton Arenas in Warwick will reopen Monday at 3 p.m. The administration reminds residents and business owners with storm drains near their property to clear snow in anticipation of Monday's rain.
• 4 p.m. Sunday: The RI Emergency Management Agency announces that Bishop Hendricken High School is closed Monday.
• 1:30 p.m. Sunday: Mayor Allan Fung announces Cranston schools will be closed Monday. The School Committee meeting will be rescheduled to a later date. Administrators and custodians are to report to work.
• 4 p.m. Saturday: RIPTA has suspended all service until Monday
• 1 p.m. Saturday: Governor Lincoln Chafee has lifted the travel ban only for Rhode Islanders without heat, electricity or with immediate safety needs.
• Warwick will open an emergency shelter at Warwick Veterans High School.
• 12 p.m. Saturday: Cranston Senior Center will open as an emergency shelter at 4 p.m.
• 8:30 a.m. Saturday: Governor Chafee issues a full traffic ban, effective immediately, to allow crews to tackle clean-up efforts.
• 10 p.m. Friday: Rhode Island is enacting its Statewide Critical Staff Transportation Policy, which allows the RI State Police to transport critical health care personnel to their work destinations. This applies to those workers with specialized skills in emergency situations only.
• 8:30 p.m. Friday: More than 45,000 National Grid customers in Rhode Island are without power. For continued updates, check National Grid's outage map at www1.nationalgridus.com/PowerOutageMap-RI-RES
• 8 p.m. Friday: Lightning strikes reported in Warwick, Cranston, Johnston and beyond, in rare instance of phenomenon called "thundersnow."
• 4:35 p.m. Friday: Starting at 5 p.m., passenger vehicle traffic is restricted on the state's major highways, per order of Governor Lincoln Chafee
• 12:50 p.m. Friday, from Twitter: @MayorFung says city has 20 trucks out pre-treating roads, but private contractors on standby for when storm intensifies. "We are ready," he says.
• 12:05 p.m. Friday: Governor Lincoln Chafee declares a state of emergency effective immediately. Non-essential state employees told to go home at 1 p.m.
• 11:31 a.m. Friday: With a severe winter storm approaching, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline are urging the federal government to make federal assistance available to Rhode Island, if requested, to support emergency operations and recovery due to the winter storm bearing down on the state.
In an effort to help local Rhode Island communities and the state prepare for and respond to a potential blizzard, the state’s Congressional delegation today sent a letter urging President Obama to issue a major disaster declaration for Rhode Island, should the state require one, and to expedite emergency assistance.
• 9:40 a.m. Friday: Warwick Director of Public Works David Picozzi said his crews are ready. He has brought in extra heavy equipment.
"I've heard enough about the Blizzard of 78; we're ready for 30 inches," he said.
• 9 a.m. Friday: The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) announces that the Joint Information Center has been opened
• 11 p.m. Thursday: Governor Chafee urges non-essential personnel to stay off the roads after noon Friday
"While snowfall may be light on the way to work, we expect conditions to deteriorate and cause extensive travel delays for people trying to get home," said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. "The best advice we can give is to stay home if you don't need to go out. If you are on the roads, reduce your speed and drive very carefully."
RIEMA suggests putting together a disaster-supply kit that can be used in your home if there is an extended power outage or if you need to leave your home and go to a shelter. A basic disaster-supply kit should include:
• Water (one gallon per person per day; non-perishable food; flashlight and extra batteries; battery-powered weather radio; cash; disposable plates and utensils; first aid supplies; bedding (blankets, pillows, sleeping bags); clothing; sanitation supplies (toiler paper, soap, etc.); toiletries; prescriptions and medications; keys for house and car; toys or games for kids; important documents; tools; special needs items (glasses, walker, cane, etc.); infant needs and pet care needs
• Cranston, Warwick and Johnston Public Schools are closed for Friday, Feb. 8
• For a complete list of closures, visit www.ribroadcasters.com/News_and_Events/Closings_Delays/
Governor Lincoln D. Chafee has announced that Rhode Island will enact its adverse weather policy for non-essential state employees for Friday, beginning with first-shift workers. Workers may choose not to report to work if they have the prior permission of their supervisor. Those who do not report will be required to discharge personal or vacation time.
The Governor has also authorized department directors to require second-shift employees to report early if necessary. A determination on third-shift workers has not been made at this time.
• For the most up-to-date information on the winter storm and details on the adverse weather policy, visit www.riema.ri.gov.
-In anticipation of blizzard conditions, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) has suspended all service effective 12 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. All service will be reinstated on Saturday, Feb. 9, as conditions allow.
-RIPTA passengers should anticipate delays on all routes before and after the blizzard due to winter storm conditions. RIPTA will announce once a decision has been made to reinstate all service.
-MBTA will suspend service at 3:30 p.m. Friday
Power outages, etc.
-Residents who experience a power outage should contact National Grid at 1-800-322-3223 or use their automated system at 1-800-465-1212
-Residents who experience a gas leak should contact National Grid at 1-800-640-1595
Mayor Fung wants residents to be safe during upcoming winter storm “Nemo."
“In light of the predicted intensity of the storm, I strongly urge all residents to take this storm seriously and to prepare accordingly. We have provided a quick checklist on our city website for our residents to use,” said Mayor Fung.
-Waste Management is planning to start at 5 a.m. instead of the normal 6:30 a.m. to get as much done as possible before the snow begins
-Trash removal will be suspended as of 1 p.m. Friday. Residents are advised that if their trash is NOT picked up by 1 p.m., to please bring it back inside for pickup on Monday.
-There will be NO SATURDAY pickup.
Cranston Senior Center:
-Closed all day Friday; no lunch or any activities
-Adult Day Care center will be closed
Cranston Public Library:
-All branches will be closed all day Friday and Saturday
-Begins at 12 a.m. Friday; In effect until FURTHER NOTICE
Cranston Ice Rink:
-Closed at Noon on Friday through all day Saturday.
-Sunday: Please check- weather permitting
Snow and ice removal penalties
Per ordinance 12.16.010: The owner, occupant or an building or lot of land bordering on any street, highway, square or public place where there is a sidewalk supported by curbing, shall, within the 24 hours after any snow has ceased to fall, cause the snow to be removed from the sidewalk adjoining such building or lot of land.
In case of neglect so to do, the person chargeable with such duty shall pay a fine not exceeding $20 and for each and every hour after the expiration of such 24 hours that the snow shall remain on the sidewalk, such owner, occupant or other person shall pay a fine of not less than one nor more than $2.
• Please visit the city's website for a “first 72 Hour” checklist for information on stocking up for this storm:
Emergency Operation Command Center
-Residents are advised that the city’s EOC is open. Those with non-emergency storm-related questions or concerns should call 468-4048 for assistance.
In anticipation of the potential for power outages during the upcoming storm, the Warwick Sewer Authority is reminding its customers with grinder pumps that, if power is lost, the pumps will have limited capacity and those customers should therefore limit water usage; without power, the grinder pumps will be unable to discharge into the main sewer line.
WSA suggests that grinder pump owners prepare for a power outage by running an inside faucet for about 10 minutes or until the pump starts up. This will evacuate any wastewater stored in the pump and maximize storage capacity. Continued reduced water usage will allow for use of the plumbing facilities for a longer period of time, hopefully until power can be restored. If there is an extended power outage, WSA will issue additional information and guidance.
• For more information, please go to http://www.warwickri.gov/wsa/grinders/index.htm
McDermott Pool and Thayer/Warburton Arenas
-McDermott pool will close at 1:30 p.m. Friday
-Rinks will close at 3 p.m. Friday
-The pool and the rinks will be closed Saturday.
Trash and recycling collection
-Department of Public Works crews will begin regularly scheduled Friday trash and recycling collection tomorrow and will continue with collection for as long as possible.
-Residents are advised that, if their trash and recycling has not been collected by 3 p.m., they should bring their bins in so they are out of the way of plows and sanding trucks.
-A parking ban will be in effect at 6 a.m. Friday and will remain until further notice.
• Additional storm-related information can be found at warwickema.com and warwickri.gov
-The Johnston Police Department has instituted a town parking ban effective Friday at noon through Sunday at 12 a.m.
-Please be advised that trash pickup will follow its normal schedule for Friday, Feb. 8. Patriot Disposal will be picking up trash one hour earlier on Friday (ahead if the storm) Residents are encouraged to place the trash outside tonight if possible.
Johnston Senior Center
Parks and Recreation
-All youth basketball has been cancelled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday
-Men's basketball playoffs are also cancelled for Sunday.
• Check townofjohnstonri.com for town updates, or follow them on Twitter @JohnstonRI