Johnston Winter Storm Center
Stay up to date with the latest on this weekend's blizzard.
Get all the latest forecasts, closings, cancellations and more on the major blizzard bearing down on Johnston Friday into Saturday.
Sunday, Feb. 10—
4:50 p.m.: Classes are cancelled Monday, Feb. 11, the Johnston School Department announced Sunday afternoon.
2:10 p.m.: The worst seems to be over. Now it's playtime! Going sledding? Building a giant snowman? Share your post-storm photos with Patch.
12 p.m.: The heavy snow could wreak havoc on rooves. Find out how to clear them off here.
9 a.m.: Most electricity has been restored in town, according to National Grid's Power Outage Map. Just a few scattered pockets of outages remain.
Saturday, Feb. 9—
9:05 a.m.: Key town personnel have been meeting throughout the storm and will do so again at 10 a.m. to discuss cleanup and relief efforts. Stay tuned for more information as it comes available.
8:50 a.m.: The storm is mostly winding down, with just light snow left behind. Temperatures will drop into single digits this afternoon and evening, with a wind chill of -9. The Johnston Senior Center has been set up as a cold shelter for anyone without power and heat. It will remain open through the day, as long as it's needed.
8:15 a.m.: While there are a few pockets of outages across the town, most of Johnston has power, according to National Grid's Poer Outage Map. Johnston is one of the lucky towns. Nearly 200,000 homes across Thode Island are without electricity this morning, and crews will need time to get to affected areas, especially where roads are not yet passable.
7:33 a.m.: The storm is still dropping snow on Johnston, but should be coming to an end within a couple hours. Snowfall total are pretty much in line with predictions... 18-24 inches. How much fell in your yard? Let us know in the comments section below.
Friday, Feb. 8—
11:15 p.m.: The latest forecast is right in line with what we've been expecting for most of the storm. Johnston is still looking at 18-24 inches, with some spots possibly topping out at 30 inches of snow. The height of the storm is over us now and will continue at this pace for another few hours before starting to slow down. Snow will continue to fall, however, until late morning.
Winds remain gusty, reaching 60 mph at times.
9 p.m.: About 3,000 are in the dark in Johnston at the moment, and power is out across Rhode Island. More than 20,000 in the state have lost electricity. National Grid has warned customers to be prepared for prolonged power outages as crews are unable to reach some areas to make repairs until conditions improve.
6:20 p.m.: The height of the storm is now upon Johnston, dumping as much as 2 inches an hour on the town, an intensity that should continue for the next 6-10 hours. Power is starting to go out around the state. Do you still have your lights?
5:15 p.m.: All drivers should now be off the roads, especially on the highways. Cars are now banned from all state highways.
3:55 p.m.: National Grid announced it is still expecting widespread power outages throughout Rhode Island, but it is prepared to act. More than 1,600 National Grid and outside line and tree crews will respond to any outages in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. About 500 wires-down personnel are also ready to go to work.
3:25 p.m.: Cumberland Farms announced it will provide free coffee to plow drivers through the duration of the storm.
1:25 p.m.: Johnston is prepared and staying on top of the storm, Mayor Polisena's office reported this afternoon. Key officials and staff members are meeting every 4 hours to continually assess the situation. Non-essential town employees have been sent home early.
12 p.m.: Gov. Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency as the blizzard picks up steam throughout Rhode Island.
11 a.m.: Visibility is diminishing throughout the town as the storm heats up. The view of the town below from the BJ's parking lot is pretty much gone.
10:30 a.m.: Johnston Public Works employees are on the roads trying to keep them clear, especially for emergency vehicles. A parade of trucks has been filling up with sand at the DPW facility on Irons Ave.
7:45 a.m.: The blizzard watch issued for the last few days has been upgraded to a blizzard warning, according to the town's EMA.
7:30 a.m.: 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.
7 a.m.: All RIPTA service, including non-medical RIde trips, will suspend at noon.
Thursday, Feb. 7—
6 p.m.: Don't park on Johnston roads Friday or Saturday. A parking ban is in effect throughout all of Johnston beginning at noon today, according to Johnston Police Deputy Chief David DeCesare. The ban, which will last at least until midnight Sunday, will be strictly enforced, the deputy chief said.
"With the amount of snow we're expecting, it is imperative that people pay attention to the parking ban," DeCesare said.
Police will be enforcing the ban to allow crews to clear the roads, especially for emergency vehicles. Any cars parked on the roads after noon will be towed.
4:45 p.m.: National Grid is warning Rhode Island customers to be prepared for extended power outages. The heavy, wet snow and strong winds up to 60 mph expected with the storm is likely to result in broken tree limbs and downed power lines.
4 p.m.: Johnston students get a long weekend, as schools are closed Friday, the Johnston School Department announced Thursday afternoon.
2 p.m.: Trash will be collected Friday, but crews will begin their rounds an hour early to try to beat the storm, Mayor Polisena's office announced. The town is asking residents to put their trash and recyclables out tonight to ensure they're on the curb when crews arrive early.
12:20 p.m.: Johnston officials are coordinating their efforts to respond to the storm as soon as conditions begin to deteriorate, according to Doug Jeffrey, chief of staff to Mayor Joesph Polisena.
The town held a conference call at 11 this morning to assess preparations and plan staffing for the storm. The town plans to hold employees over Friday night into Saturday to work on clearing the roads, especially for rescue services. Parks and Recreation Department employees will be staffed at all four fire stations and the police station, constantly keeping them clear so rescue vehicles can get out, Jeffrey said. Public Works employees will be on the roads, clearing as the snow falls.
"I don't think this is a false alarm," Jeffrey said of what could be a very serious storm. "But we're on top of it. We're ready."
10 a.m.: The latest forecasts call for as much as 2 feet of snow to blanket the Johnston area Friday into Saturday. Check out the full forecast article here.
Wednesday, Feb. 6—
11:45 a.m.: Get in the mood for the Blizzard of '13 by looking back 35 years and sharing your memories of the worst winter storm in Rhode Island history. Here's hoping the state isn't snowbound for 6 days this time.
10:30 a.m.: Predictions have varied greatly in early forecasts of the major winter storm heading toward Rhode Island. Early estimates ranged from 6 inches to 2 feet.