Winter Storm: Woonsocket Information Center

Stay up to date with the latest on this weekend's winter storm.



Sunday, Feb. 9 

7:22 p.m.: Fire Chief Gary Lataille reports National Grid has isolated the problem and all city residents should have power restored by 9 p.m. tonight. If you do not have power by then, call National Grid at 1-800-322-3223.


  • The city has extended the Parking Ban until Wednesday, 7 am.
  • The city has hired heavy equipment to assist in the removal of massive amounts of snow, please excuse any inconvenience.
  • Any resident that lives on a street that has not been plowed is askedto call DPW at 401-767-8883 or 401-767-9286 immediately.
  • The Regional Red Cross shelter at the Cumberland High School has closed as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
  • Please clear any sidewalk and any fire hydrant that abuts you rproperty.

UPDATE, 2:12 p.m. : Mount St. Charles is closed Monday. Accepted students day is postponed.

UPDATE, 2 p.m. : Woonsocket Public Schools are canceled Monday and Tuesday, no activities.

1 a.m.: From the city's EMA -The City’s DPW is working around the clock to clear the roadways; operations were scaled back during overnight hours. The objective is to widen the main roadways. Sunday will be an expansion of these operations to more secondary roads and clear some municipal parking areas, then a sanding operation will commence to put down some traction on the roadways.


9:48 p.m.: Woonsocket has 112 scattered National Grid customers without power.National Grid has completed the emergency restoration phase and will systematically repair service, there is no estimated time to repair.

The Regional Shelter at the Cumberland High School has been opened by Red Cross. Police and Fire report normal operations and are moderately hindered by thesnow amounts. Please clear any fire hydrants that abut your property.

3:42 p.m.: Based on the positive progress made clearing RI roadways, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee has decided to lift the travel ban on RI roadways at 4 p.m. today. 

Chief Gary Lataille's plea to residents to remain indoors and allow road crews to continue to clear city streets unhampered remains in effect.

2 p.m.

Fire Chief Lataille reports the DPW is still working around the clock to clear roads and remains in immediate need of private snow plow contractors that have a six-wheel dump truck or larger. With half the DPW fleet off the roads due to equipment failure, Lataille estimates snow removal will take 48 hours to complete.

A parking ban and travel ban remain in effect, with the WPD enforcing both, and the Red Cross Shelter at Cumberland High School is open for the 108 National Grid customers without power. Travel to the shelter is the sole exception to the travel ban for anyone who isn't an emergency responder, healthcare worker or public employee. 

9:01 a.m.

The City’s Emergency Parking Ban lasts through noon on Sunday — officials are considering extending that timeline. Police will continue to aggressively TICKET and TOW all violators.

Emergency management urges all residents to remain at home. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic will be dangerous to themselves and will hinder snow clearing operations. 

Governor Chafee has expanded travel restrictions to a full travel ban on all roads effective immediately.

8:50 a.m.

Woonsocket's DPW plow fleet is down 50 percent due to equipment failure. Fire Chief Gary Lataille says the city's in "extreme need" of plow drivers to get streets clear for police, fire and ambulance service. Call Highway Director Rick Lambert, 401-767-8883 to sign up.

Lataille reports Woonsocket got about two feet of snow from the storm.

There are 108 National Grid customers without power this morning. National Grid will systematically repair service, there is no estimated time to repair, Lataille said.

Friday, Feb. 8 

5:20 p.m.

As the winter storm builds steam, Woonsocket's DPW crew - 42 people - is managing the few inches that have fallen so far ably, said Highway Director Rick Lambert.

They could still use some extra help, though - contractors can call Lambert at 401-767-8883 to sign up. Pay is $70 per hour for contractors with a 4X4 pickup, and $90 per hour if they've got a six-wheeler. 

In the morning, Fire Cheif Gary Lataille said, it's important that everyone stay inside and not try driving around.  

5:01 p.m.

Due to safety concerns, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee beginning at 5 p.m. tonight (Friday) and continuing until further notice.

3:40 p.m.

In declaring a State of Emergency today, Gov Lincoln Chafee and officials warned parts of Rhode Island — including Woonsocket — could see as much as 30 inches of snow by the time the storm abates tomorrow afternoon. 

Woonsocket residents should be getting off the roads and hunkering down as the storm picks up steam. There is a very good chance Woonsocket will see at least 2 feet of snow, according to wpri.com, but points north could potentially get 30 inches.

"We have a very serious storm approaching," Chafee said. "I encourage all Rhode Islanders to take this seriously. This is a major storm. Be prepared."

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is urging motorists to get off the roads and stay home until the storm ends Saturday afternoon. Road crews throughout the state — including in Woonsocket — are working around the clock tonight to keep roads passable for emergency vehicles. 

Visibility is already poor on the highways, and will only worsen as the snow and winds increase throughout the day. Gusts of 60 mph are anticipated throughout the region.

National Grid has warned Rhode Islanders to expect prolonged power outages as the heavy snow and wind could knock down tree limbs and power lines. Crews will have difficulty reaching areas in need of repair as the storm is expected to dump 2-3 inches of snow an hour during its height this evening, into Saturday morning.

1:11 p.m.

A brief report on conditions along Park Ave. and in Park Squareas people polished off last minute errands before the storm (photos).

12:46 p.m.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency for RI, the Providence Journal reports. People are being asked to stay off the roads and inside as the storm intensifies.

7:53 a.m.

  • The blizzard watch issued for the last few days has been upgraded to a blizzard warning, according to the city's EMA. 
  • Gov. Lincoln Chafee has put the state's Adverse Weather Policy into effect — time missed from work during the storm has to be recorded as time off without pay, annual leave, or personal leave.
  • All RIPTA service, including non-medical RIde trips, will suspend at noon.


Thursday, Feb. 7 

5:10 p.m.

The City has issued an EMERGENCY Parking Ban that goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, and lasts through 12 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10. Police will be aggressively TICKETING and TOWING all violators.

Emergency management urges all residents to prepare for the storm; 1.have a three day supply of non-perishable food and water, 2. check batteries and flashlights, 3. check generators. Report any power outages to National Grid’s customer outage line, 1.800.322.3223. Stay home during the storm and off the roadways.

4:09 p.m.

Due to the forecasted snowstorm, pickup of trash and recycling will be starting at 6 a.m. for the Friday District Collection Route. In the event that the route cannot be completed, the trucks will return to the area on Monday to finish any uncollected stops.

Due to the severity of the snow and wind, we ask that any uncollected carts be brought back into the property and placed back out on Monday.
The City Recycle facility will be closed Saturday, Feb. 9 due to the storm. We ask that you please be patient as we attempt to collect all waste within a timely manner.

Questions can be directed to the Solid Waste Division at (401) 767-8880.

2:31 p.m.

  • Woonsocket Public Schools are closed Friday, no activities.
  • Woonsocket Head Start and Day Care - all centers closed Friday.
  • Beacon Charter High School closed Friday
  • Mount St. Charles Closed Friday

2:00 p.m.

  • Join in the fun. Upload your photos of the snow to our Storm Central! Just click upload on this post.

 Scroll down for important phone numbers, websites and more. Stay with Woonsocket Patch as we keep you updated throughout the storm.

For instant updates on weather and storm news (and more!), follow Woonsocket Patch on Facebook and Twitter.

See a tree down in your neighborhood? Notice a road is icy? Just saw a store clerk put out more snow melt products? Please use this story on Woonsocket Patch to help out your neighbors.

As we prepare for the winter storm, we want to make sure that Woonsocket stays connected. For live updates during the storm, be sure to download our App for your smartphone or tablet and 'like' Woonsocket Patch on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Woonsocket Patch is all about connecting neighbors and helping neighbors so we hope you’ll find this information hub helpful during the storm. Stay safe, folks!



  • In an emergency, dial 911
  • Police Department: 401-766-1212
  • Fire Department: 401-765-2500
  • Highway Dept.: 401-767-9286 

To report/view power outages: 

National Grid Emergency Outage Reporting Phone Number 1-800-465-1212.

Smartphone users can also text STORM to NGRID (64743) for outage alerts.

To check the status of outages in your area, visit National Grid Outage Central for Rhode Island.

Listen to NOAA radio:

Smithfield EMA has a link to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radio frequencyhere. 

English first February 10, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Does anyone know if schools are open. That would be good to know.
Rob Borkowski February 10, 2013 at 09:22 PM
English - Just added that info here. Public Schools are closed Monday Tuesday. Mount is closed Monday.
English first February 10, 2013 at 09:26 PM
I bet there is alot of shoveling to do around the schools. Last storm a few years ago they worried about the weight of the snow on the buildings that have a flat roof..
Memere February 11, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Don't all the schools have flat roofs? I think they do.


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