The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) reports today that first responders and emergency management staff has turned their focus to assessing and responding to impacts from the storm that hit Rhode Island this week.
"We'd like to thank all Rhode Islanders, municipalities, and state and community partners for taking steps to prepare for Hurricane Sandy," said RIEMA Executive Director Theresa C. Murray. "Cooperation and adherence to pre-storm recommendations helped to assure that Rhode Islanders are safe today. It truly takes a whole community to mount an effective incident response. Now, we can focus our efforts on assessing the storm-related damage."
At daybreak, due to many fallen limbs and trees that have downed power lines, an estimated 115,000 Rhode Island customers were without power. The majority of outages are in southern Rhode Island in coastal communities. National Grid crews are out in full force today and have begun clearing debris and restoring power.
Rhode Island State Police report that many traffic lights were out at a number of intersections. State Police are directing traffic at locations in Bristol, Middletown, and Westerly. To find out which roads may be closed or have limited access, call 511 or visit http://511.dot.ri.gov/
Other state partners are engaged in the process of assessment, repairs, and cleanup. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is checking on terminals in the ports of Providence and Quonset Point. The Coast Guard is inspecting the federal waterways and ports so that safe maritime traffic can resume.
There have been no reports of serious accidents or injuries. The Coast Guard received a report of an elderly couple marooned at the Watch Hill Lighthouse. The Coast Guard was unable to reach the couple; however, they helped them access the upper levels of the lighthouse in an effort to keep them safe during the storm.
Ten shelters remain open at various locations across the state. For a complete listing of available shelters, visit http://www.riema.ri.gov. The Red Cross reported 92 people stayed overnight at a shelter.