Update: Storm causes power outages, road closures throughout northern Rhode Island

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Flooding on Old Smithfield Road

Northern, RI – A storm the blew into the state Sunday evening was set to continue until 7 p.m. Monday night, causing wind damage and flooding across northern Rhode Island and beyond.

In North Smithfield, downed trees caused reported road closures on Victory Highway, North Main Street, Black Plain Road, Douglas Pike and more, with the Department of Public Works traveling from site to site to clear roadways and restore traffic flow through morning rush hour. As of 9 a.m., many across town had lost power, with some 635 homes affected, according to Rhode Island Energy.

That number only increased throughout the day, with new outages reported even as some homes were restored, leaving 2,102 North Smithfield homes without power as of 4 p.m. Monday afternoon.

A Burrillville resident posted this photo of a tree down on Tarkiln Road.

The North Smithfield Police Department’s main phone line went down Monday afternoon, and residents were instructed to call 911 for emergencies or call the fire department at (401) 762-1135 to have a message relayed to police. The department asked that residents wait until the lines are back up for all non-emergency calls.

Roads closed in North Smithfield as of Monday afternoon included Iron Mine Hill Road by Greenville Road; Buxton Street and Homecrest Avenue to Quaker Highway; and Quaker Highway at Central and Mechanic Streets to North Main Street at Florence Street and Flora Street.

In Glocester, Route 44 at Chestnut Hill Road was closed Monday morning, as well as Joe Sarle Road at Route 101. According to a note from the Glocester Police Department, the 800 block of Tourtellott Road also had a tree down.

“Please be patient while police, DPW, RIDOT, and RI Energy are out trying to get the roads clear,” the department noted. “Please also use caution while driving, as some of the roads have flooding/ponding.”

A Glocester resident published video showing flooding on George Allen Road.

On Monday afternoon, GPD published a much longer list of road closures, advising residents to stay home. A post on the department’s Facebook page listing roads to avoid has been updated throughout the day.

GPD advised residents to call dispatch at 401-568-2533 if they need to report a tree ot wires down, or 911 if they have an emergency.

A large portion of a tree was downed in a yard at a home in North Smithfield.

The RI Energy outage map showed 374 without power in Glocester around 9 a.m. Monday morning. As of Monday afternoon, the number had grown to 1,791, with many areas not scheduled for restoration until Wednesday, Dec. 20.

“Today’s winter storm and damaging winds are bringing down limbs and trees across Rhode Island resulting in power outages,” the company noted. “Our crews are working around the clock to safely restore power as quickly as possible. Always remember to stay away from downed wires.”

Burrillville saw downed trees and wires on Spring Lake Road, East Avenue, Tarkiln Road and other locations. Pascoag Utility District was out working to keep power running, and was reporting only one outage on Reservoir Road around 9 a.m., with crews assigned for restoration. For the portion of town covered by Rhode Island Energy, 363 homes were without power.

Pascoag Utility District posted this photo showing storm damage by Zambarano hospital.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning and high wind warning for northern Rhode Island, which was scheduled to remain in effect through 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18.

By late Monday afternoon, many roads in Burrillville were reportedly flooding including East Avenue. PUD’s outage map showed six customers without power, while Rhode Island Energy showed 682.

A Burrillville resident posted video of their flooded back yard.
Storm damage on Hemlock Farm Trail. Credit: Pascoag Utility District

With multiple roads closed and flooded throughout northern RI, NWS extended the flood warning Monday afternoon through 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19. Travelers are reminded to turn around immediately in the case of flooded roadways.

Locals are invited to post their own storm photos in the comments below.

North Main Street was blocked off Monday morning to travelers headed into Massachusetts. NRI NOW photo by Sandy Hall
A Glocester resident posted this photo of a tree down on Route 44.
A Burrillville resident posted video from their home at Woods Edge.
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