Towns announce warming stations, issue emergency warnings as frigid temps hit northern RI


Northern, RI – With arctic temperatures expected in northern Rhode Island through Saturday morning, local officials have announced warming stations where residents can find shelter, and are also warning residents to stay prepared.

In Burrillville, Jesse Smith Memorial Library at 100 Tinkham Lane in Harrisville will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, for anyone who needs to get out of the cold.

Fire stations in town will also be available on an as-needed basis including Pascoag Station 1 on Main Street; Oakland Mapleville at 46 Oakland School St.; and the foyer entrance and bathroom at the Harrisville Fire Department at 201 Callahan School St.

Emergency Management Director Glen Biddiscombe told NRI NOW that additional space will be opened if there is a need, and that anyone in need of shelter and unsure where to go should call the police department at (401) 568-6255.

In North Smithfield, plans are in place for an emergency shelter in the case of a power outage. Starting at 7 p.m. Friday night, North Smithfield Middle School at 1850 Providence Pike will be prepared to serve as a warming station. Those in need of emergency help should call the North Smithfield Police Department to gain access at (401) 762-1212.

In Glocester, residents are advised to check the town website, where shelters will be announced as they are opened if there is a need.

The Glocester Emergency Management Agency also published a list of safety tips to prepare for the cold front, warning residents to check their disaster supplies, which should should include food, water, flashlights, extra batteries, a radio, first aid kit, and all needed medicines and prescriptions.

Residents are reminded not to operate generators indoors, keep electronics charged, and wrap pipes in insulation or layers of newspaper to prevent them from freezing.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning through 10 a.m. Saturday morning, with dangerously cold wind gusts of 35 to 55 mph expected and wind chills dropping to between 25 and 35 below zero.

“Winds this strong may lead to isolated power outages, particularly in hilly terrain,” notes the warning.

Locals are advised to avoid outside activities if possible, and dress appropriately when going outdoors.

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  1. And please check on your elderly neighbors and friends, the disabled, bring pets indoors, and check on anyone who may be struggling that you sense needs a helping hand. Sometimes ppl are too proud or shy to ask for help. We need each other, to help each other. God bless.

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