Officials across the region described Tuesday's snowstorm as "rather uneventful," with only a few traffic accidents and power outages accompanying the start of wintry weather.
The National Weather Service said the overnight storm dropped between 1.5 and 4.5 inches of snow across Washington County. It began with blustery winds but ended with little damage, according to police and fire officials. Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said it was a nice change of pace from the typically chaotic impact of early winter storms.
"We really haven't had the calls for assistance that we would normally see with one of the first storms of the season," Lacey said Tuesday afternoon. "There was one minor accident in a parking lot that did not involve any injuries, but that was about it."
Bill Leatham, a weather service meteorologist, said the Westerly area received several inches of snow, in addition to winds that measured between 30 and 45 mph at times during the evening portion of the storm. He said that northern parts of Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, received heavier accumulations, with up to 11 inches reported in parts of Providence County.
With slippery roads in the morning, administrators closed the Chariho, Stonington and North Stonington schools. Lacey said the Westerly schools planned to open after a one-hour delay, but decided to cancel classes after power went out at the Dunn's Corners School.
Charlestown Police Lt. Philip Gingerella said slick conditions were a factor in a 6 a.m. crash along Klondike Road, where a pickup truck hit a National Grid utility pole, damaging the pole and cutting power in the neighborhood. The driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries, but was alert and already out of his truck when officers arrived. Power was restored by noon, officials said.
There was another crash on Route 1 in Charlestown around 8 a.m., but it caused only minor damage and no injuries. No other accidents were reported during the storm, Gingerella said.
"That was the extent of what we saw," he said. "The schools had erred on the side of caution and I think that played a role in reducing the amount of traffic and potentially the number of accidents."
Across the Pawcatuck River in Stonington, dispatchers reported that there were a few morning accidents reported but no injuries or significant damaget.
Eversource reported some spot outages in the region, but no widespread problems with the system. In fact, there were no service outages to report in Washington Country or southeastern Connecticut as of 2 p.m., according to National Grid and Eversource.
Lacey attributed the "uneventful" start to winter to the school cancellations, and said the lack of traffic and moderate snow accumulation helped reduce the need for emergency response. He said he was hopeful that area residents would continue to use caution throughout the winter.
Leatham added that while there may not have been a large impact this time, the storm represents the start of the winter season and residents of southern New England should prepare accordingly.
"This should be a reminder that winter is here. We all need to slow it down on the roads, to prepare for extreme conditions at times, and to be vigilant and keep a watch on the weather so the storm doesn't catch you off guard," Leatham said. "Being prepared and knowing what may be coming is the best way to remain safe."