Cranston, RI – At a noon press conference at the RI Emergency Management Agency, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee declared a State of Disaster Emergency, effective immediately. A State of Emergency declaration may make RI eligible for federal funds related to the winter storm response.
The Governor also closed State Offices from 1 to 4 p.m. today for non-essential personnel. This closure does not affect 24/7 operations, such as state hospitals and group homes.
Colonel Stephen O'Donnell of the RI State Police, Major General Kevin R. McBride of the National Guard, Director of Administration Richard Licht, Director of Transportation Michael Lewis, Director of Health Dr. Michael Fine, Secretary Stephen Costantino of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and Tim Horan of National Grid supported the Governor at the press conference.
Director Lewis reported that 100 state plows were currently operating. He advised motorists to avoid non-essential travel, as white-out conditions could occur this afternoon and evening.
Horan reported that pre-positioned crews throughout the state will address power outages as soon as weather conditions allow.
Secretary Costantino advised those with non-life-threatening storm-related issues to contact 211.
For the most up-to-date information, the public should visit www.riema.ri.gov.