Schools closed, events canceled ahead of snow, sleet forecast
A MAP CREATED by the National Weather Service shows the forecast for 4 p.m. on Thursday, when snowfall will be replaced by a wintry mix of rain and sleet across the coastal areas of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
PROVIDENCE – The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Interstate 95 corridor from Providence to Boston, projecting snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches and low visibility through 7 p.m. Thursday evening.
After 2 p.m., the wintry mix of rain and snow expected to reach as far south as Warwick will switch over to rain and sleet, accompanied by patches of fog.
The majority of flights out of T.F. Green Airport between 7 a.m. and noon were canceled as of Thursday morning, with a number of delays and cancellations anticipated for later in the day, as well. The R.I. Airport Corporation advises travelers to check with their airlines for the most up-to-date information on flight changes.
At Logan International Airport in Boston, more than 250 flights have been cancelled, according to a Boston Business Journal report. In addition, Amtrak said it would run fewer trains along the route between Boston and Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority had detoured 11 bus routes across the state until further notice as of 1:30 p.m. For an updated listing of all RIPTA detours, visit www.ripta.com.
Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee put the state adverse weather policy into effect for government workers with shifts between 8 a.m. and noon on Thursday. The effect of this policy is the ability of state workers to use annual leave, personal leave or leave without pay if they are unable to complete their work schedule, with approval of a supervisor.
The General Assembly cancelled scheduled floor sessions and committee hearings for Thursday, and Providence Public Schools remained closed and all after-school activities canceled per a late Wednesday announcement from Mayor Angel Taveras’ office. City Hall remained open, and no citywide parking ban had been declared as of 9 a.m. on Thursday.
“Residents are advised that sleet and freezing rain will likely cause untreated walkways to become icy,” the announcement from Taveras’ office stated. “Residents are asked to take caution while clearing snow from sidewalks as soon as possible to prevent icy conditions.”
Parking bans did go into effect Thursday morning in several Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts towns. For a complete and updated listing of all parking bans in effect, as well as local cancellations and delays, visit the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association closings site at www.ribroadcasters.com.
The Roger Williams Park Zoo, Museum of Natural History and Botanical Center will be closed Thursday, along with all Providence recreation centers and the Providence skating rink at the Bank of America City Center.
A number of local events have been canceled or postponed as a result of the adverse weather. The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition’s workshop on how to structure a formal business plan was rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 95 Chestnut St. in Providence.
Special Olympics Rhode Island rescheduled its 2014 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring athletes and their families for Thursday, April 10, at the R.I. Convention Center.
The “Good Morning SouthCoast” breakfast event planned for members of the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce will now be held Thursday, Feb. 27, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Fairfield Inn & Suites in New Bedford. The cost to attend is $20 for members, $25 for non-members or $180 for a table of 10. To reserve a seat, contact the chamber at (508) 999-5231 or visit www.newbedfordchamber.com.
Finally, a Thursday evening stakeholder meeting and public lecture hosted by the Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan – a joint venture of the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center and state agencies including the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council and the R.I. Department of Environmental Management – has been postponed indefinitely, to be rescheduled at a later date.
National Grid issued a statement Thursday advising customers to be prepared for possible service interruptions resulting from heavy, wet snowfall, and potential high winds and flooding.
Customers can receive text-message alerts and updates on service interruptions by texting the word “STORM” to 64743, and can also follow the storm on their mobile devices using the National Grid mobile app. National Grid customers who experience outages should call National Grid’s outage line at (800) 465-1212 immediately to expedite restoration.
For more storm information and weather updates, access the following resources: