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First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI

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About half of Block Island remained without power as of late Sunday morning due to the winter storm, which pummeled the island with wind gusts up to 75...

A dispatch from Newport, as the City by the Sea dug out from the first big storm of 2016.

About half of Block Island remained without power as of late Sunday morning due to the winter storm, which pummeled the island with wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour. Block Island also received the most snow  in the state at 13 inches.

Block Island Power Company CEO Cliff McGinnes said two crews were working to restore primary power lines, and more help was on the way.

"I'm bringing two crews in from New York, and they are going to be on the four o'clock boat tonight," said McGinnes. "They will be here and ready to go tomorrow morning.

The town of New Shoreham set up a warming center for residents at the island's public school. McGinnes said he expects the power to be fully restored sometime Monday.

Rhode Island Snow Totals Under A Foot In Most Places

The East Coast dug out Sunday after a winter storm that dumped as much as three feet in some places. As predicted, Rhode Island saw less snow than the hardest hit areas. The National Weather Service said Sunday the state's southern coast measured the most snow, with totals ranging from 8-13 inches.

"Block Island came in with the highest total at 13 inches," said NWS meteorologist Joe Dellicarpini. "A little farther north, still some good amounts in through Providence, with anywhere from four to eight inches in greater Providence and into Newport as well."

Block Island felt the strongest wind gusts at 75 miles per hour, which is considered hurricane force. Sunday's temperatures are expected to be sunny, warming up to the 30s, with snow melting and winds diminishing through the day.

Get Out The Snow Shovels!

Providence lifted a city-wide parking ban at 8 a.m. A statement from the city said crews worked through the night and plan to continue clearing snow on Sunday.

"Property owners are required to remove snow and ice from sidewalks, catch basins, fire hydrants and pedestrian ramps adjacent to their property within 8 hours after snow stops falling," the mayor's office reminded residents.

Travel Advisories In Effect

Several flights to and from affected areas were canceled during the storm; travelers were advised to check with airlines or T.F. Green Airport  for details before traveling. RIPTA has also detoured a few bus routes because of the snow. Travel on the roads might be treacherous, as crews work to clear them, so be sure to check RIDOT's web site for updates, including live traffic cams.

Storm Blows Into Rhode Island

By Saturday afternoon, shoppers rushed to purchase last minute supplies at area supermarkets, as the snow began to stick to roads and sidewalks. Gusty winds blew snow from rooftops, stinging the cheeks of dog-walkers and shoppers, as they rushed back to their cars. 

State officials have urged Rhode Islanders to stay inside as much as possible during the snowstorm, even though the heaviest snowfall is expected to pass south of Southern New England.

National Grid said Friday that roughly 200 power line crews are available to respond to power outages, which are a strong possibility in heavy, wet snow and windy conditions. But utility officials warned that wind speeds can affect their ability to repair power lines.

Winter Weather Advisory In Effect Saturday And Sunday

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for parts of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and southeastern Massachusetts. The latest forecast suggests the region will see snow accumulations of four to eight inches. 

New England will likely be spared a major hit from the storm, which has already dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia. In Rhode Island, forecasters expect snow to begin falling by mid-to-late Saturday morning, becoming heavier in the afternoon and evening.

Wind gusts up to 55 miles per hour may accompany the snow, limiting visibility. The storm is expected to taper off sometime after midnight.

Newport and many other communities have announced parking bans on Saturday and Sunday. You can find the latest details on parking bans and storm closures by clicking here.

State, Emergency Officials Prepare For Snow

Governor Gina Raimondo met Friday with key department leaders for an update on preparations for the first significant snowstorm of 2016.

The storm, which is expected to hit Rhode Island Saturday afternoon and Sunday, could bring heavy winds and up to seven inches of snow in coastal areas.

National Grid reported that extra tree and line crews are on call to handle power disruptions that could result from the winds. State officials said more than 100 plow trucks are ready to clear snow.

Raimondo said the state has a "strategic salt reserve," after a brief shortage last year.

"We don't want to be in a pinch for salt," Raimondo joked. 

The governor's office said a travel ban is unlikely, but Raimondo still advised residents to be cautious.

"If you can stay in, you know, stay inside and watch the Patriots," Raimondo said. "Don't do anything silly."

As always, the track of the storm can change. Stay tuned to Rhode Island Public Radio for updates.

Rhode Island Expected To Dodge Brunt Of Major Storm

While residents in the mid-Atlantic, and the greater Washington D.C. area are scrambling to stock up on bread and milk, Rhode Island will likely be spared the worst during this first major snow storm to hit the east.

The National Weather Service on Friday issued a winter storm watch for the southern coast of the state. Meteorologist Kimberly Buttrick, said depending on the direction of the storm’s movement, areas like Westerly and Newport will feel the fringes of the event.

“We’re actually going to get a glancing blow from this storm. Typically we tend to be hammered by these nor’easters, but we’re still going to expect some snow out of this,” said Buttrick.

Meteorologists are predicting between four and seven inches to fall across the Ocean State, with the highest totals falling near the south coasts.

“Our latest thinking is the state of Rhode Island is going to get anywhere from four to as much seven inches. The highest amounts across southern Rhode Island, where we have a winter storm watch up.”

Despite relatively mild predictions, the storm in Rhode Island is expected to last all day on Saturday said Buttrick.

“We’re looking at snow beginning around 10 AM tomorrow morning, snowing throughout the day, into Saturday evening,” said Buttrick. “The storm begins to exit east Saturday night, and it should wrap up by eight AM.”

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. 

Rhode Islanders cleared snow from their driveways on Sunday morning.
Snow waiting to cleared off cars in Providence's Fruit Hill neighborhood.
One of many snow plows clearing the roads in Pawtucket.
A White Christmas comes to East Greenwich, about a month late.
A quiet road in East Greenwich road with about four inches of snow as of 4 p.m. Saturday
Rhode Island College disappears in the snow.
A snowy street near Rhode Island College.
Shoppers leaving the Whole Foods Supermarket in Providence as the storm began to intensify
A light dusting accumulated by midday Saturday.
Snow on car windows in Providence.
Forecasters expected Rhode Island to get four to eight inches of snow.
Mother and son climb a small hill in Newport for sledding.
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A light dusting accumulated by midday Saturday.
A light dusting accumulated by midday Saturday.
Shoppers leaving the Whole Foods Supermarket in Providence as the storm began to intensify
Shoppers leaving the Whole Foods Supermarket in Providence as the storm began to intensify
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
A snowy street near Rhode Island College.
A snowy street near Rhode Island College.
Rhode Islanders cleared snow from their driveways on Sunday morning.
Rhode Islanders cleared snow from their driveways on Sunday morning.
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
A quiet road in East Greenwich road with about four inches of snow as of 4 p.m. Saturday
A quiet road in East Greenwich road with about four inches of snow as of 4 p.m. Saturday
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
Forecasters expected Rhode Island to get four to eight inches of snow.
Forecasters expected Rhode Island to get four to eight inches of snow.
Snow on car windows in Providence.
Snow on car windows in Providence.
A White Christmas comes to East Greenwich, about a month late.
A White Christmas comes to East Greenwich, about a month late.
Rhode Island College disappears in the snow.
Rhode Island College disappears in the snow.
Mother and son climb a small hill in Newport for sledding.
Mother and son climb a small hill in Newport for sledding.
One of many snow plows clearing the roads in Pawtucket.
One of many snow plows clearing the roads in Pawtucket.
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
First Significant Snowstorm Of '16 Arrives In RI
Snow waiting to cleared off cars in Providence's Fruit Hill neighborhood.
Snow waiting to cleared off cars in Providence's Fruit Hill neighborhood.