School and town offices will be closed Thursday; trash pickup delayed; parking ban in effect.
Town offices and the schools will be closed Thursday, Jan. 4, for a large winter storm due to begin early Thursday morning. East Greenwich officials have been told to expect anywhere from 8 to 16 inches of snow and strong winds.
Trash pickup Thursday, already delayed one day for the New Year’s Day holiday Monday, will be postponed to Friday, when the town trash hauler will do double duty and pick up trash usually picked up Wednesday and Thursday. If your regular trash day is Friday, pickup is still Saturday.
There is a parking ban in effect starting at midnight Wednesday until further notice.
If people lose power because of the storm, the Community Room at the police department will be open to warm up and charge devices.
According to Public Works’ Wayne Pimental, who serves as co-EMA director for the town (along with Fred Gomes), the town usually relies on the Red Cross regional shelter rather than open up a shelter here in town because of the staffing challenges involved. East Greenwich has shelter supplies at Cole Middle School but the town has never opened it as a shelter.
As of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, there was no word on a regional shelter designation. For previous storms, the regional shelter was Warwick Vets High School or in Coventry.
Public Works Director Joe Duarte said the timing of the storm was challenging – with snowfall anticipated at 1 to 2 inches an hour during both the morning and afternoon commutes.
Town snowplows will be working to keep the roads clear.
“If people could stay off the roads tomorrow, that would be good,” said Duarte.
He encouraged people to clear walking paths and driveways on Thursday rather than wait until Friday, since temperatures are forecast to drop to the teens and single digits Friday into the weekend and things could get icy.
Duarte said sometimes people ask why the town plows work all through a storm. That’s by design, he said, to stay on top of the snow removal. Town snow clearing starts as soon as there’s something to clear.
“As soon as it’s plowable, we plow. We don’t stop,” he said.