March Nor’easter Topped October Storm in Power Outages

The March Nor’easter caused more power outages in Rhode Island than the October Storm of 2017.  At one point, Friday night, approximately 150,000 National Grid customers were without power.  That’s 1,000 more than the storm this past fall.  That October Storm brought gusts between 60 and 70mph and 3 to 5″ of rain to Rhode Island.

The March Nor’easter was a large, and slow-moving storm that developed over the Northeast United States and intensified into a powerful storm south of New England on Friday, March 2.  The storm slowly moved southward Friday night and Saturday, taking with it the soaking rains and powerful winds.


The storm caused wind gusts in excess of 60mph across much of Rhode Island on Friday, leading to widespread tree and power line damage.  The peak gust measured at TF Green Airport was 64mph at 7:06PM Friday.  Other unofficial gusts included 83mph in Little Compton and 74mph on Block Island.



The storm also knocked out the power to more homes and businesses than the Macroburst of 2015 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Power Outage Numbers in Rhode Island by Storm


When people think power outages in New England, they usually think of hurricanes.  Hurricanes Gloria and Bob as well as Tropical Storm Irene all caused more outages in Rhode Island than the March Nor’easter, as did the Blizzard of 2013, commonly known as “Nemo”.

The wind also helped to cause some minor coastal flooding around Narragansett Bay, and 2-4″ of rain caused street and poor drainage flooding, in addition to river flooding.   Small snow amounts were measured…about 1.1″ in Foster, RI.

-Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo

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