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Hurricane Sandy Updates – Monday, Oct. 29

Stay safe, stay inside and stay informed by reading this blog.

6:50 p.m. – If you’re reading this, congrats! You’re still one of the few people in South County with power, or a charged cell phone, or heck, you don’t even live in the path of the hurricane, probably.

Right now, according to National Grid’s outage map, almost everyone in South Kingstown and Narragansett is suffering from a lack of service. No restoration time is estimated yet – That would be dependent on when the hurricane died down, which probably isn’t going to happen until 10 p.m. at the earliest.

The actual numbers for outages: About 50,000 customers in Washington County are without power. In Narragansett, 7,650 of the Grid’s 10,486 customers are without power – 72.9 percent. In South Kingstown, it’s 11,280 of 14,413 customers – 78.3 percent.

2:01 p.m. – South Kingstown public schools are also now cancelled for Tuesday.

1:58 p.m. – Narragansett Police Captain William McGovern has offered the following status updates on the storm:

  • People who do not need to be on the road stay home unless they are evacuating. We are asking people to stay away from the ocean including the sea wall, especially with children.
  • We have power outages in the Point Judith area and a small section of Narragansett Pier. We are getting reports of down trees (South Pier Road and Boston Neck Road) and utility lines.
  • We are expecting high winds with strong gusts from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m., with seas four feet higher than this morning’s high tide.
  • The parking ban from midnight Monday will remain in effect until further notice.
  • We strongly advised people in low lying /flood prone areas to evacuate. The area shelter is at the South Kingstown High School. Residents can find information at the town’s website.

ROAD CLOSURES

  • Bonnet Shores causeway and sections of Col John Gardner Road are closed.
  • Ocean Road is closed from Earles Court to Beach Street including side streets east of Boon Street.
  • Beach Street is closed.
  • Boston Neck Road (Route 1A) is closed from Beach Street north to the Dunes Club.
  • Great Island Road in the Galilee area was flooded and was closed down (from Sand Hill Cove Road to Great Island Bridge).
  • The road is passable but we anticipate the road to flood tonight during high tide.
  • Harbor Island Foddering Farm Road Westbound lane is closed.
  • Middlebridge Road is closed from Old Boston Neck Road to the bridge with no access over the bridge.
  • Local traffic only on Ocean Road south to the Point Judith Lighthouse Breakwater Village areas.

1:40 p.m. – Time for some afternoon updates, along with a picture of my messy car and video from the Black Point Fishing Area.

The thing that struck me about the storm was definitely the force of the wind, and its effect on the tides and waves. Typically at Black Point, you can climb out on to the rocks a bit, but as the video shows, the water was completely up to the edge of the usual path.

As far as the force of the wind goes, it was so strong that sea foam and sand was being pelted at me as I tried to take that video. I honestly thought it was hailing, that’s how strong it was.

Patch blogger Harold Ambler warns that the peak winds for Hurricane Sandy are still yet to come, and they’ll be the brunt force in the next few hours. For his blog post, click here.

National Grid has issued a press release, and says that crews are already out in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as of 1 p.m., performing maintenance and other services.

And finally, for all y’all kids out there – No school in Narragansett on Tuesday.

12:18 p.m. – Governor Lincoln Chafee will also be meeting with National Grid officials at 3 p.m., according to a press release from National Grid.

11:52 a.m. – Our regional Patch team has produced another article on the hurricane. Sandy now has winds up to 90 miles per hour, unfortunately.

I’ve also added three more photos from Harry Holland’s Twitter account.

Also, I’ve learned from a staffer of Sheldon Whitehouse that the travel plans have changed for the governor because of the conditions at the Coast Guard House.

Instead, he’ll be visiting Monahan’s and the state pier. Earlier in the day, Whitehouse and Chafee were in Matunuck, surveying the damage there.

11:35 a.m. – I’ve added some great photos that people have taken on Twitter to this story. Thanks to Mike Herchen, Lucy Clarke and Harry Holland for sharing them on Twitter!

RIDOT has issued a press release, and asks people to limit their travel, noting that they expect fallen branches, power lines and trees to block access to roads and crews.

And finally, Governor Lincoln Chafee and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, along with other emergency officials, will be at the Coast Guard House and Narragansett Town Beach around noon.

The governor then plans to go to the Pell Bridge at about 1 p.m., according to a tentative schedule. A formal press briefing at RIEMA HQ in Cranston is scheduled for 6 p.m.

10:20 a.m. – More information and news releases. Also, check out the photo gallery, since we have added a few new pictures.

  • All Washington Trust branches will close at 11 a.m.
  • From The Providence Journal, most state offices are closed.
  • According to RIEMA, T.F. Green Airport is open, but all flights are cancelled for today.

9:53 a.m. – And a few more updates as a scour local media and Twitter:

  • G. Wayne Miller of The Providence Journal has a shot of the tide at Carpenter’s Beach. The water is reaching some of the summer cottages.
  • Tom Winter of NBC News is also in the area. You can follow his Twitter updates here.
  • The staff of Maury Loontjens Memorial Library in Narragansett reminds people that they’re closed today because of the hurricane.
  • According to the Providence bureau of the American Red Cross, they have started to open shelters, including one at South Kingstown High School.
  • The New England Patriots will remain in London for a few days because of the weather, The Providence Journal reports.

9:30 a.m. – Updating from our info earlier today:

  • The image from the Narragansett seawall is from NBC’s Stephanie Gosk. She’s updating live on The Today Show and via her Twitter account from Narragansett.
  • RIPTA will stop services statewide at about noon, according to The Providence Journal. The last buses from South County leave at about 10 a.m.
  • We have a cross-posted article with a title that says it all – How long will food last in the fridge if you lose power?

Again, you can follow along here for information, and check out The South County Independent’s Facebook account for more. The Providence Journal also has lots of good info on their news blog.

6:10 a.m. – According to Channel 10, they’ve spoken with Narragansett Police, and they plan to limit access to Ocean Road, especially by the seawall, in the next hour.

Police said the water is expected to surge over the seawall at times with the waves. Last year, during and shortly after Hurricane Irene, access was cut off as well. (However, after access was re-opened, two people did enter the water – it didn’t go well.)

5:40 a.m. – Hi folks! This is our first update today, but we will be updating as long as the power situation allows.

For our updates from Saturday, which include a lot of emergency numbers and other helpful information, go here: http://patch.com/A-zbSF. The South County Independent is also updating its Facebook page with some great information.

As of about 5:25 a.m., National Grid is only reporting minor outages in the area. About 34 people lost power at about 3:42 a.m. off of Route 1 Tuckertown Road. Another 5 people lost power at about 4:28 a.m. in the Narragansett Pier area.

Channel 10 is reporting that the worst will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., as the storm turns toward Rhode Island. Coastal flooding and loss of power will most likely be the worst effects. The current wind gusts are between 25 and 35 miles per hour.

If it all possible, stay home today! Pretty much every single school day and other event in the state is cancelled because of the storm. RIPTA service is the only thing running, but it is expected to be cancelled at some point.

And finally – We would love to run your photos of the storm’s effect, but please, ONLY take pictures if you can do so safely! You can share them with us via e-mail – Stephen.greenwell@patch.com or Narragansett@patch.com – and you can also upload directly to the story.

Stephen Greenwell (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 09:44 AM
Also, it was a heck of a night for our first persistent spam attack. I've deleted a lot of the comments left overnight, but it'll take a bit for the changes to propagate through the site.
Kevin October 29, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Stephen, Do you know if there are any local power outages. I am trying to access the beach cams provided by Lila Delman and I am unable to see any of the images. We are out of town and desperate for info! Thanks for the updates!
Sophia Philo October 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Steve, RIPTA now cancelled from noon onward: http://m.projo.com/projo/db_21364/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=BAXnw659
Ted Geisel October 29, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Kevin, Here is the power outage map from National grid. It looks like there are a bunch of small outages across the state. https://www1.nationalgridus.com/PowerOutageMap
Stephen Greenwell (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Thanks Sophia! I will update the story shortly with that information.
Stephen Greenwell (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Hi Kevin - The beach cams might be down just because most non-essential power devices are shut off for most places, in an attempt to minimize power surges and what not.
Carol M October 29, 2012 at 01:36 PM
10 AM in South County per NBC10
David Daharsh October 29, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Any word on how hi the water is down near scarborough beach?
David Daharsh October 29, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I saw the pictures of the breachway in Galilee and it was pretty high...
Stephen Greenwell (Editor) October 29, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Hi David - Generally, Scarborough Beach doesn't get as bad as the town beach, at least in my experience. (I live around the corner, near the Black Point Fishing Area.) But it's tougher to get reports and photos from there because access is tougher in a storm. For similar reasons, I imagine reports from Matunuck will get really scattered at some point.
David Daharsh October 29, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Thank you Mel Bel for the Scaroborough shot
paul October 30, 2012 at 01:45 AM
any idea how middlebridge area is making out?
Melissa October 30, 2012 at 03:56 AM
hi we own a home in sand hill cove - but are not in the area....we are one block from charlie o's - anyone know how bad the flooding is down there? i cant find any information online... thanks
Dennis McCarten October 30, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Someone inquired about the situation at Sand Hill Cove. The lower end of Stanton Avenue and Elm Avenue were inundated - about four feet of water - but every place else OK.
Bill Milayder October 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Any word on matunuck beach or roy carpenter's beach?
Tim October 30, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Channel 10 has a shot of one of the cabins at Carpenters on a 45 degree angle because of the erosion. Apparently, don't know for sure but, the Ocean Mist fared better than the Coast Guard House.
Laura October 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Hi, I heard that there was damage to the Coast Guard House but can't seem to corroborate that story. Any truth? Laura
Tim October 30, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Absolutely Laura. As near as I could tell, the windows were blown out despite the plywood protectors that were used. The cops wouldn't let me walk under the towers but I'm not sure if it was because they were damaged or they didn't want me walking anywhere near the area. It started raining so I left, but it didn't look good for the CG house.
Tim October 30, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Doesn't look good, Bill. http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/10/inundated-cottages-rest-on-the-sand-at-roy-carpenters-beach-in-south.html
Stephen Greenwell (Editor) October 30, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Hi there - On today's article, we posted a few pictures sent to us by Sheldon Whitehouse's office, after he toured the area. Needless to say, there is extensive damage, unfortunately.
Stephen Greenwell (Editor) October 30, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Access to the Coast Guard House is limited, but it looks like all the windows were blown out, and given its proximity to the ocean, I imagine everything inside is ruined as a result.
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