Rhode Island Issues Statewide Travel Restrictions

How the Ocean State Has Prepared for the Coming Storm

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Rhode Island Issues Statewide Travel Restrictions

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Newport, RI. Poplar Street. February 8th, 2013.

Yahoo! News is gathering brief first-person accounts, photos and video from the severe winter weather in the northeastern United States. Here's one resident's story.

FIRST PERSON | NEWPORT, R.I. -- The National Weather Service has announced that there will be blizzard conditions and anticipating snow accumulations of 18 to 24 inches. With near whiteout conditions and winds gusting around 55 MPH, travel will be dangerous and should be avoided if possible. Scattered power outages should be anticipated and damage to trees and structures should be looked out for.

At a noon press conference, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee declared a state of disaster emergency, which would be put in to effect immediately. This allows for the state to receive any federal funding due to the winter storm response. All state offices were closed to non-essential personnel, but this does not affect any 24-hour operations such as state hospitals and group homes.

At 1 p.m. today, RIPTA closed the Kennedy Plaza Intermodal Transportation Center in anticipation of the winter storm. Service within the state was closed at noon, and will be reinstated as soon as the storm conditions allow for safe travel. Riders should expect delays on all routes once service starts again after the storm dissipates.

Starting at 5 p.m., there was a state-wide travel restriction for motor vehicles on Routes I-95, I-195, I-295, RI-24 and RI-146. Most vehicles are restricted from these roadways, excluding public safety and work crews plowing and sanding the roadways and a few other vehicles. These restrictions will be in effect until further notice.

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