All hands on deck in Rhode Island in preparation for winter storm

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – In Rhode Island, it’s all hands on deck to prepare for the winter storm.

Officials say the name of the game is preparation and keeping up with the snow. As the Department of Transportation handles the highways, cities and towns deploy their own trucks to keep their residents safe.

At the RIDOT stockpile, the building is loaded up with 8,000 tons of salt. The department deployed 150 snow plows and hired 400 private vendors to tackle the snow. Trucks lined up at the loading dock where a tractor filled up their trucks with salt.

“We’re going to have a combination of high winds, blizzard conditions, very intense snowfall,” RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said. “By mid-afternoon, there should be a significant accumulation and it would not be wise to be out on the road at that point.”

It’s the same story at each city’s Department of Public Works. In East Providence, the city deployed about 50 of their own plows to take on the snow. Like most cities across the state, Mayor Bob Dasilva issued a parking ban on city streets.

“Stay home is the best action unless there’s an emergency,” Mayor Dasilva said. “Be patient and follow the rules as far as getting cars off the road.”

The Superintendent of the Highway Department in East Providence, Chris Dicecco, said residents who need plowing can report it online and the request will go straight to their crew’s phones. He says main roads are their priority so that police and ambulances can get out, but eventually, they’ll get around to neighborhoods.

“We use about 250, 260 tons of salt for a storm so right now they’re hitting all the hills and mains and then we’ll get to the secondary road after we get the main ones done,” Dicecco said.

Dicecco and Mayor Dasilva say if you don’t need to leave your house, to stay home. There is expected to be low visibility and high winds once the storm reaches Southern New England.

“If you don’t have to be on the road, stay home,” Dicecco said. “Have some hot chocolate, sit by the fire and watch the flakes come down. We’ll get it done.”

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island