Nightly News   |  February 09, 2013

Rhode Island works to restore power

NBC’s Ron Mott joins Lester Holt with an updates on the blizzard’s aftermath in Rhode Island.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> this is ron mott in providence, rhode island . power to the people . those were the marching orders today for electric crews taking advantage of daylight to start getting homes across rhode island out of the dark and cold. at one point, nearly 40% of the homes and businesses served by the state's largest electric utility , national grid , were affected. 187,000 in all.

>> it's a bad storm.

>> reporter: before lifting a travel ban late this afternoon, governor lincoln chafee implored residents to do their part, by yielding the roads.

>> please stay off the streets. all rhode islanders stay off the streets because we need our national grid crews to get to work to get this power back on.

>> reporter: high winds, paired with heavy, wet snow, he said, proved a bad combination for trees and power lines . help has come from afar. as far as tennessee in this instance.

>> we're working pretty hard. we're working 16-hour shifts. so, i mean, in this weather, that's tough.

>> reporter: though not record-breaking snowfall totals across rhode island were substantial. topping the list, west gloucester, 27.6 inches. 21 inches in pawtucket, another 20 in warwick. the biggest city, providence, weighed in with 19.5. impressive numbers, even by this canadian transplant standard's.

>> typically i have not seen this much snow fall in years.

>> reporter: and while many residents appeared to heeded call to stay indoors, some couldn't resist the call to enjoy the wintry scenery.

>> we enjoyed some lightning strikes nearby around town. we were out walking last night, as well. hopefully people are just coming to the to get through the storm.

>> temperatures around rhode island tonight are expected to plunge into the single digits. a windchill of 10 below in places. heating centers are open so people don't have to spend a second night in the cold. and national grid says it hopes to have just about everyone powered back up by midnight monday.

>> ron mott, thanks to you. and ron allen , as well.