Gov. Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency, as forecasted snowfall totals continue to increase. Parts of Rhode Island — including Newport — could see as much as 24 inches of snow by the time the storm abates tomorrow afternoon.
Newport residents should be getting off the roads as the storm picks up steam. There is a very good chance Newport will see 2 feet of snow, according to the National Weather Service, but areas from Providence and points north could potentially get 30 inches.
"We have a very serious storm approaching," Chafee said. "I encourage all Rhode Islanders to take this seriously. This is a major storm. Be prepared."
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is urging motorists to get off the roads and stay home until the storm ends Saturday afternoon. Road crews throughout the state are working around the clock tonight to keep roads passable for emergency vehicles.
Visibility is already poor on the highways, and will only worsen as the snow and winds increase throughout the day. Gusts of 60 mph are anticipated throughout the region.
National Grid has warned Rhode Islanders to expect prolonged power outages as the heavy snow and wind could knock down tree limbs and power lines. Crews will have difficulty reaching areas in need of repair as the storm is expected to dump 2-3 inches of snow an hour during its height this evening, into Saturday morning.
Stay with Patch for up-to-date information throughout the storm. Follow along on Newport's Patch's Winter Storm Center for updates throughout.
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