Chafee Declares State of Emergency
Motorists are asked to get off the roads as the storm intensifies. Up to 24 inches are of snow is possible in Portsmouth and other areas.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency, as forecasted snowfall totals continue to increase. Parts of Rhode Island — including Portsmouth — could see as much as 24 inches of snow by the time the storm abates tomorrow afternoon.
Portsmouth residents should be getting off the roads and hunkering down as the storm picks up steam. There is a very good chance Portsmouth will see 2 feet of snow, according to wpri.com, but areas from Providence and points north could potentially get 30 inches of snow.
"We have a very serious storm approaching," Chafee said. "I encourage all Rhode Islanders to take this seriously. This is a major storm. Be prepared."
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is urging motorists to get off the roads and stay home until the storm ends Saturday afternoon. Road crews throughout the state — including in Johnston — are working around the clock tonight to keep roads passable for emergency vehicles.
Visibility is already poor on the highways, and will only worsen as the snow and winds increase throughout the day. Gusts of 60 mph are anticipated throughout the region.
National Grid has warned Rhode Islanders to expect prolonged power outages as the heavy snow and wind could knock down tree limbs and power lines. Crews will have difficulty reaching areas in need of repair as the storm is expected to sump 2-3 inches of snow an hour during its heigh this evening into Saturday morning.
Stay with Patch for up-to-date information throughout the storm. Follow along on Portsmouth Patch's Winter Storm Center for updates throughout.