State braces for nor’easter that could impact both commutes Tuesday

RHODE ISLAND is bracing for a winter storm that will bring rain, wind and heavy, wet snow that could cause power outages from Tuesday into Wednesday. / COURTESY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

PROVIDENCE – The state is bracing for a winter storm that will bring rain, wind, and heavy, wet snow that could cause power outages. 

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for northern and northwest Rhode Island. About 5 to 8 inches of snow is expected in that area as Monday’s rain will usher a nor’easter into the entire New England area. 

A winter storm warning has been issued for Providence County, eastern and western Kent County, and Bristol County. Snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected to fall after a transition from rain Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning.  

About 1 to 2 inches of snow is forecasted for Washington County and the coast. 

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The storm is expected to impact both commutes Tuesday with wind gusts of 60 miles per hour expected that could cause tree damage and power outages. 

Rhode Island Energy has secured an additional 139 external line and 95 tree crews in addition to its full team of 53 internal line crews and Rhode Island Energy employees, which includes underground, wires down, damage assessment, customer service and hundreds of back-office personnel supporting the response effort. 

“This has the potential to be a significant event. It’s not only the wind and precipitation that will be a challenge, but also the long duration forecasted for the event,” said David J. Bonenberger, president of Rhode Island Energy. “We’ve been monitoring those forecasts for several days, and secured additional line and tree workers to assist us in our restoration efforts. We’ll also be coordinating our response with state agencies and municipalities across Rhode Island to address potential outages in a safe and efficient manner.” 

Gov. Daniel J. McKee said the R.I. Department of Transportation has 150 state trucks and more than 250 vendor trucks ready and is fully stocked with 65,000 tons of salt available for the roads. Also, the R.I. Office of Housing and Community Development has communicated with shelter providers and warming centers about the storm and has requested that they implement emergency shelter plans. 

Parts of New England, upstate New York, northeastern Pennsylvania, and northern New Jersey could see more than 12 inches, with the Berkshire Mountain area of western Massachusetts potentially exceeding 18 inches. 

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