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FRIDAY NOTES: Snowstorm Sweeps Frigid Temperatures Into Region

Winter storm shuts schools, many businesses, day cares; Bristol Town Hall opened at 10 am.

Sledders and tubers descend on Burr's Hill Park Friday afternoon. Credit: W. Rupp
Sledders and tubers descend on Burr's Hill Park Friday afternoon. Credit: W. Rupp

Digging out and cleaning up got underway in earnest Friday morning in Bristol and Warren after a powerful nor'easter dropped 6 to 10 inches of snow on the region Thursday and Friday, Jan. 2-3.

The storm also brought single-digit temperatures as Arctic air poured into the region, making it feel like 5 to 10 degrees below zero. 

The extreme cold seemed to be keeping most people hunkered down even as gray skies turned sunny by late morning, but the native burial grounds at Burr's Hill Park drew their usual array of sledders and tubers during the afternoon.

11 am

A Bristol  trash truck and one recycle truck will be out for the day. If any Bristol resident forgets or cannot get the trash out today, it will be picked up next week on their regular day.

The Bristol parking ban will be lifted at 4pm today, Jan. 3.

8:30 am

Bristol Town Hall to open at 10 am, according to Town Administrator Anthony Teixeira. The late opening will allow employees to dig out first before getting to work.

6 pm

Parking bans will remain in effect until Friday, Jan., until further notice.

4:45 pm

The Prudence Island Ferry will have limited service on Friday, Jan 3:
6:00 AM Ferry - Cancelled
8:00 AM Ferry - Cancelled
3:30 PM Ferry - Scheduled to run

4:30 pm

The Bristol Warren public schools will be closed on Friday, Jan. 3. But 12-month employees should report to work.

3 pm

The book-sharing group at George Hail Library in Warren has canceled its session on Friday morning, Jan. 3.

2 pm

The Rogers Free Library is closing today at 5 pm.

12:30 pm

National Grid released this information today for customers to learn about service issues and interruptions during storms.

Customers can receive text message alerts and updates by texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743) or follow the storm on their mobile devices by using the National Grid mobile app. 

The company also provides real time outage information on its Outage Central web site at nationalgridus.com/OutageCentral. 

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. National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter. 

National Grid advises customers to be prepared for service interruptions. 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. 

National Grid offers these tips for customers to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety in the event that storm-related power interruptions do occur.

  • National Grid customers who experience outages should call National Grid’s outage line at 1-800-465-1212 immediately to expedite restoration.
  • Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
  • If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of line crews and the public.
  • 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
  • NEVER burn wood or coal in an indoor area without proper venting. Portable gas and charcoal grills intended for outside use should never be used indoors, or even inside an open garage.
  • NEVER use your gas range to heat your apartment, or house. Your range's oven and top burners are designed to cook your food, NOT to heat your home. Prolonged use can reduce oxygen levels in the home and contribute to unusually excessive levels of carbon monoxide.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you experience flooding in your home and your appliances have been in contact with water, please contact a plumbing or heating contractor to make sure the appliance is safe to operate.
  • The build up of ice and snow around or over gas meters and vents for natural gas appliances could pose a serious safety risk. Ice and snow falling from a roof can damage gas meters or service connections to customers’ homes or businesses, resulting in a gas leak.
  • Ice and snow blocking vents could cause carbon monoxide (CO) to back up into a building and result in carbon monoxide poisoning for those inside.
  • To avoid these dangers, National Grid advises natural gas customers to closely inspect areas around and over gas meters, service hook-ups and vents for ice and snow that could damage equipment or prevent CO from properly venting.
  • Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.

10:30 am

There will be no afternoon activities for the Bristol Warren Public Schools, no late busses and no COZ.

9:30 am

Parking bans go into effect in Bristol at 6 pm and in Warren at 8 pm.

8 am

Light snow is expected to fall all day today with a high temperature of around 30 degrees, according to the weather service. Blustery winds with gusts as high of 34 mph are forecast. 

Snow tonight is expected to be heavy at times with a temperatures plunging into the low teens and a wind chill below zero.  Winds could gust even higher.

The snow is expected to taper off Friday morning with another inch of accumulation possible. 

Blowing snow make driving difficult at times and visibility will be reduced, according to the RI Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA). Motorists are reminded to drive with caution.

Here are some winter weather preparedness tips from RIEMA:

  • Expect extreme cold temperatures and wind chills for Rhode Island in the next several days with temperatures well below normal. 
    Add winter blankets, warm clothes, hats, scarves, and mittens to individual emergency kits.
  • Make sure you can heat at least one room in your home even if the power or furnace is not available.
  • Add extra blankets, snow shovel, ice scraper, windshield washer fluid, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction) to your car emergency kit.
  • Make sure your car's tires have enough tread on them.
  • Fill your car's gas tank.
  • Continue to monitor TV, radio stations and social media outlets for updates to weather reports.

For additional information on winter preparedness, visit www.riema.ri.gov.

Stick with Patch for updates and cancelations throughout the storm. Make your own cancelation in the comments section below.

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