UPDATE: 2:10 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.
Any interested party should call DPW at 401-767-8883 or 401-767-9286.
8 a.m.: Fire Chief Gary Lataille says half the city's public and privately hired plows are out of action, putting Woonsocket in immediate need of local contractors to help dig out from under two feet of snow.
Equipment failure is to blame for taking the trucks off the roads, Lataille said.
Lataille said last night while monitoring the storm, he saw several private contractors out clearing local businesses and private drives — the city needs those plow drivers to clear roads now, even if it's one lane, so fire, police and ambulances can navigate the city easily. "We'll take them," Lataille said.
Lataille said the city needs the cooperation of both the contractors and local businesses to put city roads first. He noted most businesses are closed today anyhow, and with a parking ban in place and his plea to residents to stay indoors, contractors' time can be focused on helping the city clear streets so the city can operate. "The city is in extreme need," Lataille said.
Any interested contractor should call Woonsocket DPW at 401-767-8883. Lataille estimates snow removal will take several days to finish.
Highway Director Rick Lambert said contractors' pay is $70 per hour for contractors with a 4X4 pickup, and $90 per hour if they've got a six-wheeler.
Power-wise, the city weathered the storm in good shape compared to other areas. Woonsocket only has 108 National Grid customers without power. (there are 18,500 customer accounts in Woonsocket). National Grid will systematically repair service, there is no estimated time to repair, Lataille said.
The Regional Shelter in Cumberland has NOT been opened by Red Cross, Lataille reports, and WPD and Woonsocket Fire report normal operations and are so far moderately hindered by the snow amounts.