UPDATE: Gov. extends tractor-trailer ban until 8 pm
EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WLNE) — Governor Gina Raimondo is urging all Rhode Islanders to stay off of the roads as this March storm intensifies.
At a press briefing Tuesday afternoon the Governor extended a ban on tractor-trailer trucks until 8 pm, sighting accidents in neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut.
“My primary message to the people of Rhode Island is, please stay off the roads. The name of the game here is safety. We want all Rhode Islanders and our friends, family and neighbors to be safe in the storm. We want our state police and first responders to be safe. The folks driving the plows we want them to be safe. So, please hunker down,” said Raimondo.
The Governor warned during an earlier press briefing in Cranston that that the snow and conditions will get more dangerous as the day continues.
During that initial briefing at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency the Governor said that the snow was heavier than initially thought meaning that more power outages were being reported. As a result, she said cities and towns would have warming centers ready just in case.
“Get prepared in the event that you may lose power,” said Raimondo.
DOT Director Peter Alviti says 140 state trucks and 310 private vendor trucks are deployed throughout Rhode Island. He said crews have been on the road since 10 Monday night.
“It is a challenge to be out there among the plow trucks. If you need to be on the road we ask you to stay a clear distance, at least 500 feet in back of the plow trucks,” said Alviti.
From midnight until 2:30 pm there were six minor accidents, one with minor injuries. After that, when there appeared to be a lull in the storm, seven additional accidents including a rollover were reported.
The Governor says the hope is to have state roads cleared for the morning commute.