Volunteers needed for snow removal

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CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Since Tuesday’s blizzard, 950 requests have come in to Serve Rhode Island for digging out.

On Saturday, dozens of volunteers tackled the task of moving all the snow. With a snowblower humming and a shovel in hand, Billy Giblin slowly sliced away at the piles of snow at Evelyn Davis’ house in Cranston.

Giblin says, “I feel just obligated to help out wherever I can, so why not.”

Giblin is one of 120 volunteers with the SAFE-D program, which stands for Storm Assistance for Elderly and Disabled. He says helping your neighbor is just the right thing to do. In fact, nearly half of the initial 950 requests went away because neighbors did help, but that still leaves more than 400 homes to be cleared.

Talking about the snow, Giblin says, “It’s frozen underneath, it’s cold. Because it wasn’t done initially, it’s that much harder and it’s really slippery underneath so that’s why we have to get it so the sun gets at it and melts it, so it will be that much easier Tuesday.”

Evelyn Davis says all this snow was overwhelming, she says she hasn’t been able to leave her house since the blizzard.

“No I haven’t been out at all … I had someone shovel and they did a horrible job and I couldn’t get out.” Says Davis.

Bernie Beaudreau oversees the SAFE-D program through Serve Rhode Island and says they can’t take any more requests for help and what they really need is more volunteers.

“If you do this for five or six days in a row as a volunteer, you need a break.” Says Beaudreau.

Keep in mind, just waiting for the snow to melt is not an option. Another storm is on the way for southern New England and temperatures are expected to be below freezing for the next week.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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