PROVIDENCE, R.I. - As the winter weather continues in New England this weekend, Governor Gina M. Raimondo urged Rhode Islanders to take caution outside and on the roads.
"Please stay off the roads if possible tonight and tomorrow so plows and public safety officials can do their jobs," said Raimondo. "Driving conditions will be dangerous and I encourage everyone to be off the roads by midnight tonight."
"We are also expecting extremely cold temperatures and high winds tonight into Monday morning - please check on loved ones and neighbors and make sure they have what they need to stay safe and warm," added Raimondo. "If you have to be outside, remember to dress in layers and limit your exposure to the cold."
The Governor is coordinating closely with state agencies, National Grid, and the Red Cross to monitor the storm and do everything possible to be prepared. Strong winds, which could cause power outages, and dangerously cold wind chills are the greatest concerns statewide. Rhode Islanders should prepare for wind chills ranging from 10 to 15 below zero on Saturday night, and 15 to 25 degrees below zero on Sunday.
Blowing snow (caused by the high winds), and extremely cold temperatures (which limit the effectiveness of salt) will make it more difficult than normal to keep roads clear. Residents in Newport and Washington Counties, including Block Island, should take particular caution. Across the state, Rhode Islanders are reminded to observe parking bans and prepare for possible bridge closures as the wind picks up speed.
Please monitor social media and the news media for continued updates:
Additional Information & Safety Reminders:
This storm may cause power outages. Remember: Do NOT call 911 to report a power outage. Contact National Grid at 1-800-465-1212.
The heaviest amounts of snow are expected in northeast Rhode Island.
When shoveling, remember to take frequent breaks to avoid overexertion.
Keep fire hydrants clear of snow.
Check on your neighbors and loved ones to make sure they are prepared for cold weather and snow.
Make sure generators are operated away from the home and in a well-ventilated area to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Plan long trips carefully, listening to the news/media for the latest weather forecasts and road conditions.
Make an emergency supply kit for your vehicle, in addition to the emergency supply kit for your home. Include a shovel, jumper cables, and a bag of sand.
Keep your gas tank full.
Install good winter tires with adequate tread.
Check your windshield wiper fluid.
Follow Governor Raimondo on Twitter: @GinaRaimondo