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Monday, February 11, 2013

What hit us?

Nemo may not have broken all the records, but it's another in an ever increasing string of major weather events
NASA photo shows the two storm systems converging to form Nemo
By Will Collette

As National Grid gets more and more of us back on line, we once again have to look around and assess the damage of yet another major weather event. The climate scientists keep warning us that we're going to see these types of major storms as the effects of global climate change take hold.

For Charlestown, that means questions about the viability of our existing coastal development, certainly a key question as we revise the town's Comprehensive Plan and prepare to write a new one for 2016.

The official number for Charlestown is 19 inches of snow, followed by today's rains to add flooding to the mix. Just about all of Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton, much of Westerly and most of South Kingstown lost power.

National Grid's outage map at 3 PM Monday. Click here to see the latest
According to National Grid's outage map at this hour, there are still major outages along the coast - in Town Council boss Tom Gentz's neighborhood around East Beach and toward Quonnie. It looks like Arnolda is still out. Lots of people without power in Bradford. There are around 800 households in Richmond still without power. Another 1500 or so in the Tuckertown section of South Kingstown. Weekapaug and Shelter Harbor still show lots of outages.

Though National Grid has all this detailed information on line, on the ground, it's still a struggle for all the line crews who are trying to get the juice flowing.

Bob Yarnall sent in this report:

"Ran into a line crew from Tennessee this morning, they told me no one has told them anything throughout the storm, they've been asking ordinary citizens to point them in the direction of downed trees & wires since Saturday, even giving out private cell phone #s to anyone who wanted to help them locate problem areas. National Grid hired them to report to RI, then they were pretty much on their own, the old hunt & peck…"

But though it may not be pretty, they're working hard and getting the job done.