Preparedness & Recovery

Thousands Still Without Power in R.I.

The hardest hit expected to be reconnected by Monday's end. On Wednesday, potentially significant snow and wind are expected.

by Donita Naylor, The Providence Journal, R.I. / March 5, 2018

(TNS) - Power was restored to 127,000 National Grid customers by Sunday evening but a steady snow was expected to fall until about 7 or 8 a.m. Monday, adding challenges to restoring power to the last of the remaining 23,000 customers.

The hardest hit expected to be reconnected by Monday's end. On Wednesday, potentially significant snow and wind are expected.

Flood warnings for the Pawcatuck River in Washington County and the Pawtuxet River in Cranston have been extended to 1 a.m. Tuesday or until the warning is canceled, the National Weather Service forecast office in Taunton, Massachusetts, said Sunday night.

Tim Horan, president and COO of National Grid in Rhode Island, said the work on Saturday focused on public safety, with crews responding to wires down and other emergencies, as well as opening roads.

On Sunday, 300 crews entered full-scale restoration mode, which Horan said would continue until every customer is restored. By Sunday evening, 200 more workers had joined them.

As of 10:50 p.m. Sunday, 7,336 were still without power in Providence County, 6,555 in Washington County and 5,402 in Kent.

Getting schools ready for Monday morning was a key priority, Horan said.

Only a couple of schools or government operations were reporting closures for Monday, but that could change with the coating of snow.

The Coventry emergency management agency reported that power was restored to all of the nursing homes and senior housing areas. National Grid teams were restoring feeder lines and testing lines, so power will remain restored uninterrupted.

Gov. Gina M. Raimondo toured the state Saturday morning to assess the damage, including making stops in Narragansett, Barrington and Bristol.

Dozens of flights were canceled Friday at T.F. Green Airport, and the cancellations persisted into Saturday morning, when operations began to return to normal, spokesman Bill Fischer said.

Amtrak canceled train service along the Northeast Corridor Friday night and, while reactivated, it was spotty Saturday morning.

Tuesday will be the first break of major sunshine, with a high near 41 in the Providence area, but "significant snow and wind" comes back into the region by Wednesday and Thursday, the Weather Service says.

"A high impact winter storm is possible Wednesday into early Thursday with significant snow and wind, then a trend toward drier but colder weather follows later Thursday into Saturday," the Weather Service wrote in its forecast discussion.

By Friday and Saturday, we could finally see some sunshine again, as temperatures climb into the 40s.

For more weather information, please visit http://providencejournal.com/weather.

In Massachusetts, the state Emergency Management Agency said about 137,000 electric customers remained in the dark as of late afternoon on Sunday, down from about 200,000 at the start of the day.

Still, officials say it could be midweek before everyone is back on line.

Schools will remain closed on Monday in several communities, including Weymouth. The city said several of its school buildings remained without power and its high school was being used as a shelter.

— With reports from Journal staff writers Patrick Anderson, Christine Dunn, Paul Edward Parker and Amanda Milkovits

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©2018 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.)

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