Electrical crews and tree service trucks continued to fan out across southern New England Tuesday, repairing the damage from last Friday’s nor’easter. But just as the repairs were finally completed, preparations began for another storm expected to arrive on Wednesday.
For towns still experiencing power outages and swollen rivers, it was news they did not want to hear.
As of Tuesday afternoon, some residents of Richmond and Hopkinton were still without power and had been since Friday. Hopkinton had 112 remaining outages, Richmond had 12 and Charlestown, six.
“I know there’s a group on Woodville Road that we’ve been receiving complaints from,” Hopkinton Town Manager William McGarry said. “They did have a lot of trees down.”
In Richmond, hundreds of customers had lost powr during the storm, especially in heavily wooded neighborhoods like Hillsdale Road and James Trail.
“In the beginning, it was everything except [Route] 112,” Town Administrator Karen Pinch said. “Probably 80 percent of Richmond was without power.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson said the new storm, which is still forming, was not expected to be as severe as the last weather system.
“We are adjusting our snow amounts,” he said. “Westerly is definitely going to be a non-stickable snow, if you will…The vast majority will be mostly rain and then maybe a little bit of light snow, that will not stick tomorrow evening, so Westerly is pretty safe in this event…a little bit of snow at the front and back, but mostly rain.”
As is often the case with nor’easters, forecasters are placing the rain-snow line in the vicinity of Interstate 95. Areas north and west are expected to receive “at least 6 inches” of wet, heavy snow while the coast gets rain.
National Grid spokesman Ted Kresse said the utility still had the additional crews brought in from other states and Canada to restore power after the Friday storm.
“We haven’t made a decision on that,” he said. “I can tell you right now we haven’t released any crews.”
“Our planning will continue as we did for this storm,” he added. “We’ll look at the forecast, we’ll see what the potential impacts are and we’ll make sure we’ve got the staffing in place, just like we did for this storm.”
The new storm was to begin in the morning with rain along the coast and then intensify during the day, peaking around rush hour and into the evening.
The winds were not expected to be as damaging as last week’s nor’easter.
“You could get gusts in the 40s, but not like it was in the last storm,” Simpson said.
Charlestown Emergency Management Director Kevin Gallup said he hoped the precipitation would be in the form of rain and not snow.
“The last blizzard, we did well, but there was no heavy wet snow,” he said. “We haven’t had heavy wet snow this winter yet.”
Gallup said he was expecting to go straight from storm recovery to storm preparation.
“We never stopped,” he said. “I asked National Grid to keep the staging area over in the [Ninigret] park. I’m not sure if they’re going to demobilize that or just keep it open.”
Kresse said there had not been a decision on the Ninigret staging area.
For those who can’t get enough stormy weather, there’s good news: Another winter weather system could affect the region on Sunday.
“It looks like next Monday, there’s potential,” Simpson said. “Now, it may go offshore and stay well offshore, but there’s a potential for another snow event Sunday into Monday.”