Winter storm dumps a foot of snow
The snow started at about 1 a.m. Wednesday bringing at times two to three inches an hour. High winds and blowing snow helped make visibility poor. The heavy, wet snow packed easily, but made shoveling difficult.
Joe Ford, one of several Town of Jamestown employees who were out plowing streets during the day, said he started work at 4 a.m. and expected to continue plowing until midnight. Ford said there were 10 people driving snowplows for the Town during the daylight hours on Wednesday.
Ford was behind the wheel of one of the Town’s two giant dump trucks that are equipped with 10- foot-wide plows. With a full load of sand in the back, Joe said the truck could clear most of the island roads. In addition to the dump trucks, the Town has several pickup trucks with snowplows attached.
The north end of Conanicut Island had received more snow than the southern end, Ford reported Wednesday morning. The difference was due to snow that had switched over to sleet and rain several times during the day on the south end of Jamestown.
Gusty winds had knocked down tree limbs and television cables, Ford said. He also reported that the north end of the island and the police station had lost power for a short time in the early morning.
The Jamestown village was quiet on Wednesday. Few people were out walking their dogs. Most islanders who were braving the weather were busy clearing sidewalks and driveways and shoveling snow.
All was quiet at Jamestown Hardware on Wednesday and the store closed at noon. However, Tuesday afternoon was a different story. The hardware store was “slammed” with customers who were preparing for the storm, owner Scott Sherman reported. People were buying necessities such as firewood, flashlights, batteries and wood stove fuel, in case their power went out. Snow shovels and ice melt were also selling briskly.
McQuade’s Marketplace also reported a busy Tuesday afternoon and evening as people stocked up in advance of the storm. The store was open on Wednesday during the storm and a store employee reported that business was slow.
Many people stayed home from work on Wednesday. The governor declared a statewide snow emergency and asked businesses not to open to keep people off the roads.
The snow was expected to continue through Wednesday afternoon and taper off by early evening.