'Cane Blog: Don't Tamper With Cox Generators

Get the latest news on Hurricane Irene with our Hurricane Blog.

Thursday, 12:25 p.m.  The North Kingtown Police Department would like to remind residents not to tamper, disable or remove generators that are connected to broadband and communication networks. These generators have been set up to restore "critical Internet and telephone service." Disabling or removing these generators eliminates Internet access and the ability to make phone calls, including 911 calls. Doing so is against federal law.

Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.  National Grid now reports 2,200 North Kingstown customers are still without power. At this time yesterday, the figure was more than double that.

Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.  According to the National Grid's website, most of North Quidnessett – the hardest hit area in North Kingstown during Hurricane Irene where an alleged tornado passed through – will not seen power until Sept. 4. Parts of Wickford will be restored by Sept. 5, the site says.

Tuesday, 3:20 p.m.  The first day of school is being pushed back an entire week from its originally scheduled start.

Students will now start the 2011-2012 academic year on Sept. 6, according to an email sent out by Superintendent Phil Auger.

The postponement comes as two North Kingstown schools (Wickford Middle and Quidnessett Elementary schools) are still without power. Latest figures show that 4,600 North Kingstown customers are still without power.

Tomorrow's professional development day has now been pushed back to Friday, Sept. 2.

Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.  According to the North Kingstown Police Department, Fletcher Road has been reopened. Essex Road near Potter Road is still blocked due to a downed tree and telephone pole.

North Quidnessett Road, where an alleged tornado swept, likely won't be open for "a few more days" as about seven to eight telephone poles and early a dozen trees block the road.

Tuesday, 11 a.m.  Slowly but surely, North Kingstown is coming back online after Hurricane Irene barreled through the region on Sunday. At around 4 a.m. Tuesday, power was restored at and the , according to Town Manager Michael Embury.

Town hall is back open for today, but the senior center will remain closed as employees clean up and restock. Most of Wickford remains dark at this time, though the is up and running.

also saw its power restored this morning. is still without as well as part of . For now, Superintendent Phil Auger says there have been no changes to the school start date. He will decide whether to push the date back a third time this afternoon.

The is still without power and is closed for the day. Both the fire and police departments are still running on generators.

At this time, 4,500 North Kingstown residents and businesses are without power – nearly 37 percent of the town.

"You have two different worlds out there," said Embury. "You have sections of towns that were devastated as a result of the tornadoes that came through. Others, you have some damage and problems with wires but nothing serious."

Though Embury is not sure what damage costs will be, he is certain that cleanup after Hurricane Irene will be a long process.

"Our guys are going to be doing this for a good month," said Embury.

The town's rapid response team and building inspector have already assessed all structures in North Kingstown. According to Embury, only one home has been condemned at this time after a tree fell on it during the height of the storm on Sunday.

"We literally almost had no damage to structures," said Embury. "I think that's pretty amazing."


Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.  According to National Grid, 4,500 North Kingstown homes are still without power more than 48 hours later.

Nearly 1,000 homes in hard-hit North Quidnessett are still without power this morning. The area was hit with a powerful storm system that some neighbors .

Much of the center of town is also without power. On Post Road, the outages span from around Dana Drive down to Hamilton Allenton Road and spanning nearly the entire lengths of Ten Rod Road and Lafayette Road, totalling 2,185 customers without power in the area. Nearly all of Stony Lane west of Route 2 is without power at this time.

According to the map provided by National Grid, Wickford is still without power at this time.

Monday, 5:30 p.m.  School is being pushed back another day in North Kingstown, according to Superintendent Phil Auger.

For now, the first day of school is set to be Thursday as three schools (, and ) are completely without power. only has partial power.

Auger says the start of school will be contingent on when the school's power is restored. With areas like North Quidnessett likely to not have power until later this week, the first day could be pushed back even further.

"We don't want to push the start date to next week and find out tomorrow that everyone is back up," said Auger. "It's something we have to take into consideration and just assess day by day."


Monday, 3:20 p.m. David Graves, National Grid: "It might take until this weekend for all areas to have power restored." Biggest obstacles are dealing with downed trees and telephone poles. In NK: Particularly hard hit areas in North Quidnessett probably won't see power for a few days. 

Monday, 2:30 p.m.  About 1,300 North Kingstown residents got their power back in the past two hours. Now, 6,740 residents are out of power, down from 8,000 at around noon today.

According to town officials, those in the North Quidnessett area will "have to wait awhile" for power to be restored.

Monday, 1 p.m.  For those clearing your yards this afternoon, North Kingstown residents can bring any leaves, tree branches and wood debris to the town's for free today. (Curbside pickup for debris is not available.)

Monday, 12:30 p.m.   Much of town is still without power at this time. According to the National Grid's website, 7,933 North Kingstown homes are without power out of nearly 13,000 possible customers in town.

Wickford is without power. Aside from flooding caused by this morning's high tide, the historic village fared well, according to Town Manager Michael Embury. Town hall is closed due to the power outage.

The hardest hit area in town was the North Quidnessett area, said North Kingstown's EMA Director David Murray.

"They took a bigger hit at the north end than the southern end of the community," said Murray. "It's not what we expected. We expected the coastal regions to be the worst."

Much of Post Road is online, however, as businesses such as Dunkin Donuts are seeing long lines and empty shelves.

According to National Grid, thousands of Rhode Island residents will likely be without power for several days. At this time, more than 280,000 residents are without power.

According to Fire Chief Fenwick Gardiner, Jr. there have been no reported storm-related injuries. As of last night, the town's building inspector had only identified five houses with damage due to yesterday's storm.

Monday, 8:45 a.m.  Town hall is still without power today and will be closed. 

Town Manager Michael Embury is asking residents to conserve water. Only two town wells are operational at this time. Crews are working to get the others up and running.

Sunday, 12:40 p.m.   Out of 13,000 customers in town, more than 8,000 North Kingstown residents are without power at this time. Approximately 180,000 people are without power across the state.

Sunday, noon    Neighbors on North Quidnessett Road are claiming a tornado touched down and swept through the area at about 8:30 a.m.

"We heard it and we knew it was really heavy winds," said Sarah Rebello. "We looked outside and saw all the trees fall at the same time."

More than a dozen downed trees are visible from North Quidnessett Road, just west of Fletcher Road. The path of the alleged tornado crosses the street, leaving clear paths of debris and downed trees on either side. A large tree has taken down power lines in the area, making the road unpassable.

"I heard it and heard the trees cracking and the transformer blew," said Jill Tetreault.

Jeff Michaelson, who lives on Fletcher Road, reported to North Kingstown Patch earlier this morning that he believed a tornado went through neighborhood. (See his photos and observations in our .)

A tornado watch is in effect for South County at this time.

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. More homes near the coast have lost power. It looks like more than 5,000 North Kingstown residents are without power at this time.

Sunday, 9 a.m.  More than 2,500 residents are without power in North Kinstown. Widespread power outages just hit North Kingstown in the past hour. Large areas near North Quidnessett and Route 102 near the Exeter town line are without power right now. An area running from Stony Lane down to Hamilton Allenton Road between nearly Dry Bridge Road and to the coast is without power.

To report a power outage, contact National Grid at 1-800-465-1212.

Saturday, 4:30 p.m.  All s in the Greater Providence area will be closed tomorrow. They will reopen on Monday at 9 a.m., tentatively.

Saturday, 3 p.m.  Storm supplies are nearly gone across town, so call before you head out anywhere in search of batteries, flashlights, sand bags, etc.

Store owners are boarding up in Wickford right now. Cars in the lot at Tarbox have been relocated.

Those who have received an evacuation notice should leave by 10 a.m. tomorrow, according to this morning's CodeRed message.

The following areas have received the evacuation notice:

  • South end - properties east of Route 1A
  • North end - coastal neighborhoods east of Route 1

The Town of North Kingstown has also issued an evacuation notice for areas near local dams, including:

  • Belleville Pond
  • Secret Lake
  • Shady Lea Mill
  • Rodman Mill
  • Carr Pond
  • Slocum Woods
  • Slocum Road Upper Dam

Irene has the potential to add five to 10 inches of rain, but is not expected to have the level of impact seen during the floods of March 2010.

Questions regarding the evacuation notice may be directed to the at 401-294-3311.

Saturday, 9:40 a.m.  , the town's Red Cross-operated shelter, will open early at 6:30 p.m. tonight in anticipation of the storm.

Saturday, 8:30 a.m.  Forecasters at the National Weather Service are now predicting that Hurricane Irene will hit the region Sunday morning rather than Sunday evening. Effects from the storm will be felt later tonight, as well.

Strong to damaging winds are still expected throughout the region, likely resulting in "widespread damage with downed trees and power outages."

Rainfall amounts could be in the five- to ten-inch range in parts of the state.

According to the National Weather Service, for those under the hurricane warning (like southern Rhode Island):

Now is the time to rush to complete preparations for the protection of life and property. Evacuate if directed to do so by local officials or if your home is vulnerable to high winds or flooding.

A parking ban is in effect for coastal areas starting today at 6 p.m.

Friday, 6:35 p.m.  Due to Hurricane Irene, Tuesday night's at has been canceled.

Friday, 6:30 p.m.  The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency announced it will close both the Jamestown and Pell (Newport) bridges when wind speeds hit 70 mph. The closures could come as early as early as Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Military aircrafts are being evacuated out of Quonset, according to Adjutant General Kevin McBride. The airfield is low-lying and could be subject to flooding.

Friday, 6 p.m.  Rhode Island is now under a hurricane warning as of 5 p.m. today. The National Weather Service has changed the forecast status from watch to warning as Hurricane Irene draws closer to southern New England.

Irene is still a Category Two hurricane, but forecasters at the National Weather Service say the storm could drop below hurricane status before contacting Rhode Island. As the report says, impacts from this storm will not be much different if it is a strong tropical storm or a low-end hurricane.

Models project the storm will move very slowly through the area, producing extended periods of tropical storm and hurricane-force winds in many areas.

Friday, 3:30 p.m.  The first day of school for North Kingstown has been postponed a day from Tuesday, Aug. 30 to Wednesday, Aug. 31. The first day for teachers is now Tuesday instead of Monday. 

 Friday, 3 p.m.  Town Manager Michael Embury has issued evacuation orders for all low-lying properties east of Route 1 in North Kingstown, all the way down to Route 138. An evacuation order is also being issued for all properties located downstream from dams in town. A broadcast will go out through the CodeRed system Saturday afternoon notifying residents of the order.

The notice is not mandatory and will impact upwards of 5,000 North Kingstown homes.

"We're being very precautionary," said North Kingstown EMA Director David Murray. "We can't pick and choose every house with this notification. Some people need to use common sense."

The announcement follows this afternoon's state of emergency declaration by Governor Lincoln Chafee. Projections of the storm have it tracking in a more northeasterly direction that anticipated. According to reports from the Rhode Island EMA, we will sit Category 1 (possibly Category 2) winds here in Rhode Island with five to 10 inches of rain.

Forecasters are predicting a four- to seven-foot storm surge on the coast and up to 10 feet in the upper bay, exacerbated by the moon tide we'll be seeing this weekend.

"It's been a long time since we've been hit with anything of this magnitude," said Murray. "In the past we've had storms that fly past us and we kind of chuckle it off. I don't think we want to chuckle this one off."

, the town's Red Cross shelter, will open at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

"We're concerned for the fact that we know there are a lot of bad things that can happen," said Embury. "But we're preparted for it. Everyone has the drill down. Everyone understands what their responsibilities are. We're ready."

Friday, noon  As of right now, Wickford Middle School will be the only hurricane shelter in town and will be operated by the Red Cross. If need be, the and will also be opened as shelters.

Friday, 11:20 a.m.  Though no evacuation orders have been issued, here's where you can find evacuation routes for all of Rhode Island. .

Friday, 10:45 a.m.   Town Manager Michael Embury says he will not make a decision on evacuation possibilities until after today's 1 p.m. call with Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. Embury cites that the storm track has changed "at least four times in the last 36 hours," which affect the wind/rain amounts and storm surge estimates.

According to Embury, all town departments are ready to receive the storm, with debris drop-off stations in place, personnel schedules established and generators ready to go.

"We are ready to rock and roll," said Embury.

Wickford Middle School will serve as the town's shelter, operated by the Red Cross. Starting Sunday, crews from the Department of Public Works will be stationed at each fire station.

Gates around town – including the cut-through between Camp Avenue and Quonset Business Park, the gate at Calf Pasture Point and another at Newcomb Road – will open at the close of the business day today.


Friday, 10:30 a.m.  A hurricane watch has been issued for Rhode Island by the National Weather Service. The Category 2 storm has turned north and is heading straight for southern New England. Forecasters are predicting up to five to 10 inches of rainfall and have also issued a flood watch for the area.

According to the National Weather Service, it is "too early to provide exact wind and surge forecast," but the storm's damaging wind should be a general concern for all. Right now, Irene's winds have been measured at 110 mph.

Irene will begin to impact the area as early as Sunday morning.

Thursday, 4:45 p.m.   Though orders as Hurricane Irene approaches, North Kingstown officials are awaiting more information before making the call.

According to Town Manager Michael Embury, the town will not announce any evacuations until after tomorrow morning's Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency's meeting. If evacuations are ordered, Embury said residents will be notified by the emergency CodeRed system.

Irene is now expected to hit Rhode Island on Sunday night. The National Weather Service reported, however, there is a "fair amount of uncertainty in the forecast." What is certain, officials say, is that southern New England will see "a significant impact from Irene this weekend."

The effects of Irene will be felt Saturday, as clouds will thicken and the rain will begin. There is also a chance of flash flooding on Saturday.

Officials from the National Weather Service are advising to "be aware of Irene" and prepare as necessary. Mariners should work to secure their boats or get them out of the water. Beach goers should be cognizant of increasing surf and dangrous rip currents.

Carolyn Bolton August 26, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Great info, Sam!
NKMom August 30, 2011 at 12:35 AM
This blog was/is the best thing about Irene. Thanks!
Samantha Turner (Editor) August 30, 2011 at 01:51 PM
Thanks, NKMom! More than happy to help!
JG August 30, 2011 at 06:46 PM
Where are the National Grid trucks?
Scott Madison August 31, 2011 at 01:53 PM
Great blog...the updated info is good stuff. Just an FYI on the National Grid website, it is very inaccurate....we had power this morning and it still shows us out of power with power being restored Sept 4....
JG August 31, 2011 at 02:16 PM
Great news! What part of town are you located?
Scott Madison August 31, 2011 at 02:24 PM
West of Rt.4 off 2/102
Samantha Turner (Editor) August 31, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Congrats! I'm guessing the restoration dates that National Grid is providing are "worst case scenario" dates. Fingers crossed that everyone has power by the weekend!


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