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Storm Center: Saturday, February 9, 2013

It’s cold and dark, and if you’re reading this, then you probably don’t live in Washington County.

10:35 p.m. – One last update for tonight:

  • National Grid has finally put estimated restoration times up, but you’re probably not going to like them… For all of Washington County, the restoration time is 11:45 p.m. Monday. While crews are working to get people up before then, according to National Grid officials, that’s the earliest that they can guarantee that everyone will have power back.
  • As a reminder, if you’re looking for a place to stay warm, South Kingstown High School is serving as a warming shelter. Local YMCAs are also open to recharge power, but Broad Rock is closed still – The closest applicable ones are in Cranston, Providence and Warwick (Kent County YMCA).
  • All RIIL sports are cancelled for Sunday. Anything on Monday will be a decision later in the day on Sunday. The same thing goes with school cancellations, as no Rhode Island schools have cancelled for Monday yet. (Fall River has cancelled Monday classes already.)
  • The Rhode Island Beekeepers meeting for Sunday is cancelled.

Unless something big happens, this will be the end of our updates for Saturday. Check back in with us Sunday at 6 a.m., and until then, keep uploading these awesome snow pictures! (I would especially enjoy seeing more snowmen.)

6 p.m. – Here is a late afternoon update for everyone, after I finally found a working outlet at the Ryan Center, and based on my observations while driving.

  • There are still no power restoration estimates from National Grid, but several areas of South Kingstown and Narragansett now have crews assigned to them. So, with the worst of the storm over, efforts are being made over the next couple of days.
  • According to a release from National Grid, they have more than 2,000 crews out from 26 states, assessing and repairing damage. They received more than 2,000 reports of down wires in Rhode Island. National Grid said they hope to have estimation times in place for Rhode Island by the end of Saturday, but it is contingent on being able to assess damage and reach areas.
  • The roads are truly bad. While I didn’t see any accidents yet, they’re going to be inevitable as people try to drive. There is still a LOT of uncleared snow on even major roadways – Most are either one-way, and even major arteries like Point Judith Road only have a single travel lane or the breakdown lane cleared. There is just a titanic amount of snow out there.
  • Because of the first two reasons, almost nothing was open. I didn’t go down Main Street in Wakefield that much, but the only stores I saw open were Shaw’s, Kabuki’s and several of the takeout places in the URI Emporium. If you insist on going somewhere tonight, CALL AHEAD!
  • The URI men’s basketball game with St. Bonaventure’s is still scheduled for 7 p.m. If you have tickets and don’t want to go for safety reasons, then you can arrange a transfer over the phone, or by visiting the box office on Monday.
  • All local universities have cancelled Sunday classes. Except for Fall River, no local high schools have made a decision yet on Monday classes.
  • A parking ban remains in effect for South Kingstown until noon Sunday. The Narragansett parking ban remains in effect, with no termination time set yet.
  • Most local churches have cancelled Sunday services. Again, call ahead if you’re not sure before leaving Sunday morning.

6 a.m. – Overnight, the number of outages in Washington County has swollen from about 26,000 to 47,112, according to National Grid’s online outage map, and thanks to the storm no restoration estimate is available.

Statewide, about 187,176 customers are without power. The worst hit seems to be Bristol County, with only 11 of 22,851 customers still with power.

Locally, 8,194 of 14,427 customers in South Kingstown are without power. In Narragansett, the percentage is even higher – 8,549 out of 10,478. Again, no restoration estimates are available because the storm is still ongoing.

On the plus side though, the blizzard warning and snowfall is estimated by the National Weather Service to be over at about 1 p.m. today. At that point, hopefully, the wind will have died down enough for National Grid crews to begin power restoration efforts.

Temperatures will remain in the low-20s, with winds in the 20 to 30 mile per hour range. So unfortunately, don’t expect much help from Mother Nature in getting rid of any snow in your yard. Snowfall totals are estimated at 12 to 24 inches, depending on your proximity to the coast, with some parts of northern Rhode Island expected to get more than two feet.

From yesterday’s closings, there isn’t much new to report. As always, check the broadcasters’ network for new delays and closings throughout the day.

One thing to note – the URI men’s basketball game vs. St. Bonaventure was moved to 7 p.m. tonight. The women’s game, which was scheduled for Sunday, is postponed to an undetermined later date. St. Bonaventure arrived in Rhode Island on Thursday night, meaning that the game pretty much had to go on as scheduled.

PREVIOUS STORM COVERAGE

  • Widespread Power Outages in Washington County
  • 2 to 3 Feet of Snow Now Projected
  • Storm Center: Friday, February 8, 2013
  • (spoiler alert: they cancelled too!)
  • Blizzard Watch Now In Effect for Friday Morning
  • Post Your ’78 Blizzard Pics Here!
Rick Devin February 09, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Hope Valley (Main Street) has power and never lost it but for a few seconds.
Diana Charpentier February 09, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Thank You for keeping us in the know....went to Shaw's, everything was closed, and down power lines, transformers on the ground, CVS was closed, i know...KFC ,Burger King not even plowed, it was very creepy in Wakefield ...again thank you.
Stephen Greenwell February 09, 2013 at 11:41 PM
I had the same experience, Diana. Shaw's looked open when I went by it at 4 p.m. or so, but they could have just been preparing for Sunday, when I expect everyone will be trying to open. People were at Panera, but solely mopping up and cleaning, not opening.
Fran February 10, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Sunday, 09:55 AM Stephen, is there power on Matunuck Beach Road yet?
Stephen Greenwell February 10, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Hi Fran, sorry for the delay in responding - I'm also without power! Matunuck Beach Road is still listed on the National Grid site as out, with a restoration time of 11:45 p.m. Monday. Traditionally, it's a tough area to restore power to, as are most coastal locations outside of hubs like Bonnet Shores and Ocean Road near the town beach.

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