State Police, EMA monitoring road conditions, car crashes

SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) —  As snow battered Rhode Island Monday, members of the Rhode Island State Police urged drivers to be careful and stay home if possible.

Troopers said the number of car accidents on the roads doubled in the afternoon, as road conditions continued to deteriorate.

During the storm, the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency opened its Emergency Operations Center for the third time this winter.

“There’s a lot of planning that goes into it, a lot of exercises,” said Peter Gaynor, director of RIEMA. “But I like to call it ‘a little science, and a little art.'”

In the command center, members of the team monitored outages, car crashes and delays. According to Gaynor, those were the things causing the most concern for the evening commute.

“The commute home will be difficult. The snow will be a little more on the ground, plus wind will blow it around so visibility will be a challenge,” he said.

RI State Police said, as of 3:30 p.m., state and local agencies responded to 60 disabled vehicles and 80 car crashes – a total of 140 incidents. There were no serious injuries.

“We would request that you only travel if you have to – if it’s an emergency,” said State Police Capt. Timothy Sanzi. “Accidents this afternoon increased because of the additional commuters on the roadway.”

Police mentioned one crash – in Scituate – where the driver was going too fast, according to officials. Police said he lost control and slid into a ravine on Danielson Pike. The man wasn’t hurt, but he did receive a ticket.

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