Aide: Mayor Elorza won’t be in Providence for snowstorm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A top aide to Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said Monday the mayor won’t make it back to the city in time for the impending snowstorm because he was unable to get an earlier flight home from a conference in Texas.

Victor Morente, a spokesperson for the mayor, said Elorza was unsuccessful in trying to reschedule his flight home from a U.S. Conference of Mayors event at the popular South by Southwest festival in Austin. He is currently in Chicago after a failed attempt to get back, Morente said.

A Winter Storm Warning is already in effect for all of Rhode Island, which means at least six inches of snow is expected throughout the state. The snow is expected to be heaviest during the Tuesday morning commute, when the state may see one to three inches per hour.

Nearly every school district in the state – including Providence – has already cancelled school on Tuesday. A citywide parking ban goes into effect at midnight.

Elorza, a Democrat, has been an active participant with the U.S. Conference of Mayors since taking office in 2015 and now sits on its advisory board. He also co-chairs the conference’s Immigration Reform Task Force with Tom Tait, the Republican mayor of Anaheim, California.

The conference’s public schedule at South by Southwest did not identify Elorza as a participant on any of the nine panels it was planning, but Morente said he and Tait sat on a panel discussing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Morente said Elorza also attended an infrastructure-related meeting.

Morente said the mayor has been in touch with city directors throughout the day to discuss preparation for the storm.

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Dan McGowan ( covers politics, education and the city of Providence for Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan