RISP urges caution during, after winter storm

Johnston Sun Rise ·

With a major winter storm bearing down on the region, Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety, is encouraging motorists to use extreme caution, and avoid driving if possible, during the storm to help keep everyone safe.

“Thursday’s storm is predicted to bring snowfall totals of up to 14 inches with high winds, which will likely create white-out conditions and extremely difficult driving. Dangerously low temperatures and wind chills are also a major concern following the storm,” stated Colonel Assumpico. “The State Police is urging motorists to stay off the roads during the storm, so that road crews can clear snow for safe travel once the storm has passed.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, Colonel Assumpico offered the following storm safety tips:

Drive only if absolutely necessary. Stay at home or use public transportation if available. If you must drive, let someone know where you are going. Try to stay on main roads, which are likely to be cleared before secondary roads.

Before driving, ensure all snow is removed from windows, roof, hood, trunk and license plate of your vehicle. State law requires motorists to clear snow from vehicles or face fine of $85. Be aware of snow and ice blowing off other vehicles, creating sudden hazards.

Remember to turn on your headlights. State law requires that headlights be used, even during the day, when it is snowing or raining. Brush snow from headlights and tail lights before driving.

Use reduced speed and allow extra space between you and the car in front of you. Allow extra time and distance for braking, especially at traffic lights and intersections. Beware of black ice as well as visible snow and ice. In the event of power outages and traffic lights are not functioning, stop at intersections and proceed with caution.

Pull over for all emergency vehicles, and allow sufficient space between your vehicle and snow plows and sanding trucks.

If you encounter a problem while driving, pull off the highway or move as close to the side of the road as possible. If you have an emergency or you are involved in an accident, call 9-1-1.

Non-emergency calls for assistance may be directed to 2-1-1.

Use caution when removing snow from your driveway and roof. Dress warmly in layers and limit exposed skin. Only shovel if you are physically able to do so.

If there is a power outage and you are using alternate heat sources, ensure you have working batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Generators should not be used inside a home or garage and should be kept away from combustible material. Use battery operated lanterns rather than candles wherever possible.

Charge cell phones and other portable devices.

Check on the well being of family, friends and neighbors.

For weather updates on social media use #GraysonRI.


Helpful Numbers:

For emergencies call 9-1-1

For non-emergency information call 2-1-1

To report a National Grid Power Outage, call 1-800-465-1212. For people with life-sustaining equipment in the home call 1-800-642-4272.

To report a National Grid Gas Emergency: Call 9-1-1 or 1-800-640-1515


The Rhode Island State Police will be working with the Governor’s Office, the State Emergency Management Agency, Department of Transportation and other agencies throughout the storm to keep Rhode Islanders safe. The police will be sending storm updates as new information becomes available. This will include road conditions and other storm-related incidents. These updates will also be posted on their website, www.risp.ri.gov/press. State police will also be posting updates on the State Police Facebook and Twitter pages.