The snow may have ceased falling, but gusty winds tonight could wreck additional havoc on an already snow-exhausted island.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a high wind warning, which will continue through midnight tonight. According to the NWS, winds could be strong enough to bring down trees and power lines.
"This will be especially more common in areas where heavy wet snow is coating trees causing them to be weakened," according to NWS. "This will likely lead to additional power outages into this evening. Blowing and drifting of snow is also expected."
A high wind warning is issued when sustained winds of 40 mph are expected for at least an hour. Gusts of 58 mph or greater are possible.
Portsmouth DPW Concerned About Drifting Snow, Ready for Rest
The Portsmouth director expressed concern about drifting snow when spoken to in his office late Monday afternoon.
"We're concerned about drifting and any glare on the roads," said DPW Director David Kehew. "Our big hope tonight is that the winds stay calm."
Kehew said some of the "trouble spots," where roads become really slippery and dangerous, are at the intersections of West Main Road and Mill Lane, Hedly Street and West Main Road, and Stub Toe Lane and East Main Road.
DPW employees have been working since early Sunday morning, plowing and sanding Portsmouth roads.
On Aquidneck Island, 16 DPW employees, including 11 full-time and three part-time, have been at work since the storm began. Both Director Kehew and Assistant DPW Director Brian Woodhead were also on the roads throughout the night, plowing snow.
The DPW is responsible for plowing and treating 467 roads in town, equaling 93 miles of roadway.
On Prudence Island, one full-time employee and two part-time employees went to work clearing the snow and sanding roads for the island's residents.
"Everyone really needs to get some sleep right now," Kehew said.
According to the DPW director, schools being closed this week was "a big break."
"We have all these steep hills here in town," Kehew said. "I have to say, there was great cooperation between the fire and police departments, and our guys.
"Everyone stepped up to the plate...When it comes to a battle, everyone pulls together."
The DPW also assisted with the removal of a tree, which fell on a car in a driveway during the storm. A nearly 30-foot locust tree, about 11 inches in diameter, fell on a parked vehicle in a driveway on Sigourney Road early Monday morning.
No one was injured. The vehicle, a fairly-new Chevy Impala, sustained damage to the rear window and roof, according to Kehew.
"We were able to remove the tree," said the DPW director. "They (the owners) were very appreciative."