CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Heavy rain and gusty winds that moved through Southern New England Wednesday morning caused widespread power outages and forced some schools to close and others to transition to remote learning.
As of 5:30 p.m., less than 3,000 National Grid customers in Rhode Island were without power, while there were more than 3,000 outages in Bristol County, Mass.
Power Outage Database: Interactive Map and Safety Information »
St. Joseph School in West Warwick and St. Luke’s School in Barrington both closed on Wednesday and did not have distance learning due to power outages.
Woodridge Elementary School in Cranston, Meadowbrook in East Greenwich, Kingston Hill Academy in Saunderstown, and two schools in Coventry canceled in-person learning and moved to full distance learning.
Scituate’s middle and high schools also moved to virtual learning.
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Three Pawtuxet Village restaurants are working together to pick up the pieces after strong wind gusts damaged their outdoor dining set ups.
The rain was much-needed in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.
Rhode Island is about 10 inches below normal in terms of rainfall this year, prompting the U.S. Drought Monitor to keep the state in the “extreme drought” category.
According to 12 News Meteorologist Michelle Muscatello, a big concern with the drought is that the integrity of the roots of the trees could be weakened due to the lack of rain and the wind gusts will knock them down.
It is important to be aware that these strong wind gusts could not only lead to power outages but also damage.
In normal circumstances, heavy rain in our area would bring concerns about flooding, but the drought is keeping the rivers mostly dry and in need of water.