With Snow Storm Nemo on the way, North Kingstown town workers are prepping for what could be a historic blizzard. Crews began pre-treating the roads Thursday night in preparation for the storm, which is projected to drop 18 to 24 inches of snow on the area.
Though the snow is supposed to start this morning, the worst of it won't start until afternoon when the heaviest snowfall begins. Forecasters are predicting that the snowfall rate could be as much as two to three inches of snow per hour, making driving nearly impossible and potentially creating whiteout conditions.
Coupled with warnings from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), a parking ban has been issued for all of North Kingstown effective noon Friday. Additionally, school has been cancelled for Friday.
According to Public Works Director Phil Bergeron, crews will begin to hit roads again early Friday morning. Unfortunately, the town will be down a few snow plow drivers. In past years, the town has had anywhere between eight and nine contractors helping with snow plowing – in addition to the 21 town trucks. This year, there is only one contractor helping. Employees from other town departments have volunteered to help pick up the slack, according to Bergeron.
"We should be fine as long as we don't have any vehicle breakdowns," said Bergeron.
To help in the snow removal process, and to keep roads safe, town officials are urging motorist to be off the roads by sundown and to heed the parking ban, starting at noon Friday.
Bergeron also hopes that residents will be understanding and patient as crews work throughout Friday and Saturday to plow the roadways. According to Bergeron, many of these employees will be working in excess of 36 hours from Friday morning to Saturday evening.
"They'll be sent home Saturday to get some rest and come back on Sunday to push back the roads a bit," said Bergeron.
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