SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Crews working to remove snow across Southern New England had their work cut out for them once again on Monday, but some said their job becomes even harder when they have to worry about oncoming cars.
The snow came down quickly throughout Monday morning, especially in northern Rhode Island. A travel ban was not issued like it was for the blizzard last week, so some drivers were out and about despite the difficult conditions.
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Just after 9 a.m., crews in Smithfield saw the snow switch over to rain and sleet. The crew responsible for keeping the parking lot and sidewalks clear at Smithfield Commons said the real challenge is manpower – getting people who are willing to work long hours in these conditions.
“It’s brutal. It’s starting to get cold, switch over to rain and hail,”said Gary Marfeo of KCI Paving. “A lot heavier, and it’s harder to move. It’s bad enough there’s nowhere to put the snow as it is with all the other snow that’s already here.”
Another big challenge, they said, is dodging the cars coming and going to the businesses.
“People, they don’t always pay attention to us, and it’s hard to keep an eye on everybody driving around us. It’s definitely challenging,” Tim Kelly added.
Residents are also working to dig out from their homes as the snow continues to pile up. Eyewitness News caught up with the Pina brothers, who were not only clearing the snow at their grandparents’ house – but also going a step further.
“We have a couple of elderly neighbors who live right next to us, so the way our parents have raised us is always to give them a hand first,” said Jeffrey Pina. “We’re kind of just helping out anybody that’s surrounding us because we know that they’d do the same for us.”
“Everybody – stay safe during this storm. If you have neighbors, don’t be afraid to get out there and help them. Everybody needs a helping hand,” added his brother, Matthew.
The Pinpoint Weather Team expects the wintry mix to continue into the evening and temperatures to fall sharply, which could lead to flash freezing on area roads. Drivers should take extreme caution during the evening commute and beyond.