Frozen rivers, ponds create possibility for ice jams
It's hard to believe, but they usually fast-flowing Blackstone River -- the main river that flows from Western Massachusetts eventually to Narragansett Bay -- has a thick top layer that's frozen over into a cap of ice.
The concern is the heavy rain flowing down the rivers that have ice on top of them could cause an ice jams, blocking the forward flow of the water.
If that flow surges with the continued existing snow melt and heavy rain in the forecast, that could break and buckle the ice.
"The concern would be would it block up the water and to start flooding," Cumberland Mayor Bill Murray said. "We have to watch it and we will watch it closely. We're in the same boat as Woonsocket here, Lincoln, anybody around us."
All cities and towns along rivers have been keeping a close eye on the situation.
"And if there is a problem, we're prepared with closing roads and whatever we need," Murray said.
Residents who live near creeks, streams and rivers, or have businesses nearby, should closely monitor changing weather conditions until the storm passes.