The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is urging motorists to drive with extreme caution during the evening commute, as travel conditions will be difficult due to localized flooding and a predicted flash freeze of roadways as temperatures drop tonight.
RIDOT is busy clearing clogged and frozen drains this afternoon to alleviate localized flooding that has been occurring throughout Rhode Island since this morning. The Department is coordinating this effort with the assistance of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, the Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island National Guard.
All road surfaces will be treated with sand and salt, however any areas of running or standing water along roadways may freeze and can dilute deicing materials, making roadways more prone to freezing. Road conditions during this freezing period can be deceiving, and what appears as simply wet pavement may be freezing or frozen. Along with reducing speed, motorists need to allow greater stopping distances than normal when driving on wet roads.
“The combination of wet roads and quickly falling temperatures can make for treacherous conditions on the roads tonight,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “RIDOT will be clearing blocked drains and treating roads as best it can, but drivers need to reduce their speed, avoid distracting activities such as talking on a cell phone and exercise good judgment to ensure a safe and incident free drive home.”
The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures to fall below freezing from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., beginning in northern Rhode Island, as cold air filters into the State in the wake of the passing storm.
Some areas of Rhode Island may see a coating of snow during the evening and overnight hours, further complicating travel conditions. RIDOT will remain at full force in treating roads as conditions warrant.
Motorists with questions can contact RIDOT at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you need to report a roadway concern after business hours, call 401-222-2378. Additional information will be available on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.
Contact: Charles St. Martin 401-222-1362 x4007