Greater City Providence

Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

hurricane sandy

[alert type=”warning”]If you carefully take any photos during or after the storm, share them on our Flickr Page.[/alert]

If you’re in India Point Park, you’re on the wrong side of the Hurricane Barrier, good luck!

  • ALL RIPTA services suspended at 12 noon. Newport and South County service shut down at 10am. (Oct. 29)
  • ALL MBTA Service shutting down at 2pm. (Oct. 29)
  • All flights canceled at T.F. Green for the remainder of the day. (Oct. 29)
  • Providence Public Schools closed Monday and Tuesday.
  • Trash and recycling pick-up in Providence canceled Monday and Tuesday – See update from the City below.
  • Governor Chafee has declared a State of Emergency for Rhode Island.
  • Amtrak services in Northeast canceled Monday, Oct. 29 – All Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Keystone and Shuttle services are canceled for trains originating on that date. Also Empire Service, Adirondack, Vermonter, Ethan Allen and Pennsylvanian train services suspended, along with some overnight services.
  • Amtrak services in Northeast canceled Tuesday, Oct. 30 – All Acela Express, Northeast Regional, Keystone and Shuttle services are canceled for trains originating on that date. Also Empire Service, Adirondack, Vermonter, Ethan Allenand Pennsylvanian train services are suspended, along with the overnight Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto and Silver Meteor trains.
  • School closings and other cancelations at

#PVDsandy & #SandyRI on Twitter:

It feels like we just did this last year, but here we go again. Personally, I’m going to probably going to start making ice and grab a Zipcar to go out and stock up on non-perishables tomorrow. I still have a pile of batteries around here somewhere left over from Irene.

Please share your information and preparation tips in the comments.

Post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Helpful links

No Tuesday Trash Collection in Providence

Garbage and recycling collection is again postponed in Providence tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30, and yard waste pickup is suspended until next week.

Garbage and recycling will be collected across the city with a condensed pickup schedule from Wednesday through Saturday:

  • Monday: Put trash out for Wednesday pick up. Will be collected by Thursday.
  • Tuesday: Put trash out for Thursday pick up. Will be collected by Friday.
  • Wednesday: Put trash out for Thursday pick up. Will be collected by Friday.
  • Thursday: Put trash out for Friday pick up. Will be collected by Saturday.
  • Friday: Put trash out for Saturday pick up.

The South Water Street flood gate has been closed and portions of India Street are closed in advance of the storm surge that will hit Providence during high tide this evening at about 8 p.m.

All activities in the city’s parks and recreation centers remain closed and programs and events are cancelled for tomorrow, including the Roger Williams Park Zoo Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular, the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, and all recreation centers in the city. The North Burial Ground was closed at noon today.

From the Providence Emergency Management Agency (Oct. 26th):

Providence Residents Advised to Prepare for Hurricane Sandy

Heavy rain and high winds on Monday night and Tuesday could cause damage, flooding

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras and Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Peter T. Gaynor are advising Providence residents to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy early next week.

Although the storm is expected to lessen in intensity as it approaches New England on Tuesday, remnants from Sandy could bring strong, damaging winds of 60 to 80 miles per hour and heavy, extended rain that could cause significant flooding.

Weather forecasts are ongoing and Sandy’s track may change over the next 72 hours, however the potential impacts from this storm are likely to include downed trees, power outages, coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Decisions regarding school closures, parking bans and changes to scheduled trash pickup will be announced in the coming days.

The City of Providence will provide regular updates to the public through the news media. Updates will also be posted on social media. Follow these accounts for the most current information:

The Department of Public Works will be checking storm drains to ensure that they are clear of debris. Residents are asked to please assist the Public Works Department by ensuring leaves and debris are cleared from street drains and catch basins in front of their homes and on corners, as significant rain and local flooding is likely.

Beginning 8:30AM on Monday, sand piles will be available at PEMA headquarters at 591 Charles Street and in the parking lot of Hopkins Park at 91 Admiral Street for Providence residents who need to make sandbags.

Officials will also closely monitor areas prone to flooding and work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for operating the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier.

Mariners are advised to avoid any activity on the water, as offshore rip currents and strong seas are expected.

Residents are advised to take the following precautions to prepare for the storm:

  • Secure lawn furniture and outdoor decorations, including Halloween decorations.
  • Store trash cans in a garage, if you have one, or secure them in your yard.
  • Take down any campaign yard signs and anything else that can be sent airborne in heavy winds.
  • Clear any debris from street drains and catch basins in front of your home.
  • Make sure your vehicle has enough gas in the event of power outages that could close gas stations.
  • Assemble an emergency kit with a 72-hour supply of water, a First Aid kit, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, warm blankets or sleeping bags, extra clothing, pet food and books, puzzles, games and other activities for children.
  • Be prepared with working flashlights, a battery operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. The Providence Emergency Management Agency, public utilities and other emergency response agencies will provide regular updates to the news media regarding power outages, street closures and other vital information.
  • Never touch downed power lines. It is safer to assume that all fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see a downed power line, report it immediately to National Grid or PEMA.
  • Do not operate generators indoors.
  • Do not operate grills indoors.

From the Mayor’s Office (Oct. 28th):

Providence Public Schools Closed on Monday, Trash Pick Up Postponed

Mayor reminds residents to take precautions to prepare for Sandy

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras announced today that Providence Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, Monday, October 29. He also announced that trash and recycling pick up scheduled for Monday is postponed. Decisions about school cancellations and trash pickup for Tuesday will be announced by noon tomorrow.

“We are preparing for high winds over a sustained period of time. The remnants of Sandy will cause damage. I urge all residents to take precautions and help minimize any damage and protect against injury and loss of life,” Mayor Taveras said. “My top priority is public safety. To keep people out of harm’s way, schools and recreational activities are closed tomorrow. Monday trash pick-up is postponed. Please bring your cans and bins back from the curb if you have already put your trash out. Make sure you have a battery operated radio and flashlight and extra batteries, plenty of water and non perishable foods. For more tips about predations, visit PEMA’s website.”

Monday trash pick-up and pick-ups for the rest of the week are delayed by one day. The schedule may change if Tuesday’s pick-up is also delayed.

In addition, all activities in the City’s parks and recreation centers on Monday and Tuesday are canceled, including the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular.

The City’s Public Safety Department is closely monitoring the storm and is in regular contact with the Department of Public Works and will make a timely announcement if the City needs to implement a parking ban.

Mayor Taveras reminded all Providence residents to take precautions in advance of the storm coming toward Southern New England. Sustained high winds will arrive early Monday morning and continue through Tuesday morning. Residents are asked to secure lawn furniture and decorations, bring lawn signs inside and clear outdoor water drains and catch basins.

Sand will be available at two locations starting at 8:30a.m. tomorrow morning. Sand piles will be available at PEMA headquarters at 591 Charles Street and in the parking lot of Hopkins Park at 91 Admiral Street for residents who need to make sandbags.

Residents are reminded to follow #PVDsandy on Twitter for updates. Information will also be posted to the Mayor’s official Facebook Page and PEMA’s website.

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.


  • Probabilities for wind are around 20% which means probably not. Rain between 1/4 and 1/2 inch – nothing too extreme.

    I think we’re panicking over nothing to be honest.

  • Sandy’s already been downgraded to a Tropical Storm again, hasn’t it?

    I’m with Tony – this one’s a dud.

  • I don’t know… Fred Campagna, who I trust more than TWC or NOAA, is pretty pissed that the National Hurricane Center did not issue a hurricane watch or warning for coastal Southern New England. This may be a dud, but I don’t consider this fear mongering. Irene may not have been a terrible storm in terms of wind damage around here, but there were people in RI without power for a week. That’s what people are getting worried about.

  • I’m not concerned that my house will blow over (though our windows suck and I am a little concerned with them as we’ve had problems with lesser storms), but with our experience with Irene just last year, you have to be pretty stupid not to make some preparations for being without power for an extended period.

  • Amtrak, at least, certainly disagrees with my assessment that Sandy’s a dud.

    They’ve preemptively pulled the plug on all Northeast Corridor services tomorrow.

  • Remember how I foolishly wrote Sandy off as a dud?

    I was gravely mistaken, and I’m sorry.

    (Please give me my Amtrak back. I don’t want to have to drive to Boston…)

  • The commuter rail is back. No need to use Amtrak.

    It’s funny, because most of my very first comments on both this blog and Alon Levy’s were in defense of South County Commuter Rail. When I first came here, I was (and I think I was the only one who was) arguing that commuter rail into Kingston and Westerly was absolutely worth doing, that for Wickford Junction to ever be successful you must extend commuter rail to at least Kingston, that Wickford Junction is in fact indefensible and an unjustifiable waste of money if you take further southward extension off of the table, and that it’s much more important to connect Westerly to Woonsocket than it is to build any more infill stations that aren’t Woonsocket Line stations (i.e., Pawtucket/Central Falls), even if the projected ridership suggests otherwise.

    That having been said, I did end up taking the commuter rail out of Wickford Junction yesterday. I neglected to stop and count the number of people boarding the train other than me, but there can’t have been more than ten – I drove an extra 15 minutes and was on the train for something between 1.5 and 2 hours. I’m sure that most of the people who normally take Amtrak out of Kingston drove in or stayed home instead. They had the right idea – I ended up taking a train home to Providence and having someone pick me up and drive me home.

    I’d like to formally concede the argument/debate over South County Commuter Rail until such time as the MBCR is ready, willing, and able to run EMUs that can run WLY-PVD in 45 minutes instead of 75~90, or they get thrown out in favor of someone who can. And while I’ll continue to advocate for better integration between RIPTA and the state’s five rail stations, I’m no longer convinced that Commuter Rail into Kingston is even going to do anything at all beyond possibly tanking ridership on the 66 bus north of Kingston. (Maybe not even then. It’d take about the same amount of time for the bus to make the trip as the train would – for $2, instead of $3.50.)

Providence, RI
Mostly Cloudy
5:28 am8:15 pm EDT
Feels like: 73°F
Wind: 6mph SW
Humidity: 73%
Pressure: 30.02"Hg
UV index: 0
88°F / 66°F
84°F / 70°F
77°F / 68°F