Snow plow crews cope with changing conditions

3:50 p.m.: North Smithfield near the Massachusetts border

Rhode Island Department of Transportation crews fought changing conditions during a storm Thursday.

By midday, the big fat flakes of the morning turned mostly to rain along the Interstate 95 corridor.

Snow plow drivers were keeping an eye out for clogged storm drains.

"Just try to find them and push them open," said Nick Croce, a state snow plow operator.

Working the on and off ramps between Thurbers Avenue in Providence and the Airport Connector in Warwick, a two-man, two-truck RIDOT crew was already 10 hours into Thursday's shift.

"Sometimes when the middles are open we'll split off to try to cover more territory, and push off the sides. He'll go one way, I'll go the other way, just to open up the curbs," snow plow operator Mike Delmonico said.

The snow turning to rain made it a real challenge for the snow plow operators.

"Heavy snow, pushing it. It's wear and tear on the trucks and trying to keep up with it," Croce said.

"You can maybe only take half a blade and then it comes over the blade and goes all over the windshield. It's tough vision," Delmonico said.

Untreated surfaces were becoming slick Thursday night.