RI opens Emergency Operations Center to handle winter storm impact

RIEMA Emergency Operations Center

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CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Emergency Operations Center at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency opened Tuesday, ready to respond to the winter storm moving through the state Thursday.

During an afternoon briefing, Gov. Gina Raimondo thanked drivers for taking the storm seriously and staying off the roads.

“Just a few accidents. No major accidents, no fatalities. We are able to keep up with the storm,” Raimondo said, also reminding people that should still stay hunkered down even after the snow stops. “You’re going to see it turning into rain. The temptation will be to go outside. I’m asking you, please stay home for the afternoon so that we can clean up this mess and have a safe commute in the morning.”

The governor said trucks need to treat the road thoroughly to prevent major icing overnight.

RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said he thinks a safe, passable commute is possible for Wednesday morning.

RIEMA Director Peter Gaynor said he’ll also be tracking road conditions.

“My priority is making sure we’re keeping an eye on the transportation system, What do the roads look like? Patches where travel is difficult, where there are whiteout conditions, where there are gridlock or stranded motorists. We want to look at all these things,” Gaynor said.

The Emergency Operations Center allows different agencies in the state to communicate and coordinate.

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