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Snow Forecast For Saturday; Road Crews Gear Up

Snow to begin falling early tomorrow morning. City officials said they're ready, regardless of the snowfall totals.

Local road crews are getting ready for an expected three - to five-inch snowfall that the National Weather Service announced will begin overnight and continue into Saturday. Wind gusts of 21 mph are also possible.

[To see weather conditions in Cranston, check out the Cranston Patch Weatherbug page.]

For those traveling outside city borders, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced that it plans to apply a brine solution to Interstate 95 from Exit 7 in West Greenwich to Exit 20 in Providence to keep snow from accumulating on the roadway.

“We think this new technology will keep roads clearer longer, but motorists should not expect snow-free surfaces at all times, as all storms vary in intensity,”  RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said in a statement. “We still urge motorists to exercise caution by reducing their speed and avoiding unnecessary travel during snowstorms."

Carlos Lopez, Cranston's director of constituent affairs, said the plows are on, the salt is loaded "and we're ready to battle this starting tomorrow morning as soon as it hits."

The city is trying to be ready for one of two storm tracks, Lopez said. One would bring just two to four inches of snow. Another could bring 3 to 6 inches or even more.

"It could go either way," Lopez said.

The city has been spared the headaches it felt last year. By this time, the city had already blown through its snow removal budget of $550,000. This year, the city has really only had to bring the plows out twice.

Lopez said the city does have the minor luxury of not dealing with the snow during a weekday commute. But it's a double edged sword.

"Logistically, it's not as much as a nightmare but financially, it's a little more of a burden if we are paying overtime premium wages," he said.

Tomorrow's expected storm will mark the first snowfall since Jan. 20.

The National Weather Service said in its winter weather advisory that the heaviest snow will fall between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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