PROVIDENCE — Local roads in Rhode Island flooded and at least one washed out as the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped several inches of rain on the state from Wednesday overnight into Thursday.
The storm was moving out of the state as the morning progressed, but Rhode Island was still under a flood warning as of 10:30 a.m.
A section of Fairview Lane in Portsmouth collapsed in the severe weather, according to WPRI. One area of Portsmouth received more than 8 inches of rain, according to observations compiled by the National Weather Service as of 10:30 a.m.
Flooding also was reported on Wood Road in Middletown. Bristol had local road flooding, according to the police department there. The department warned motorists not to try to drive around barricades, and posted a picture of a car with water up to its license plate on Hope Street where it meets with Thames Street.
Providence had issues in some flood-prone streets, but removal of silt and debris in preparation for Tropical Storm Henri last month helped mitigate the effects, according to Clara Decerbo, the city’s emergency management agency director.
“Our Department of Public Works worked overnight to keep our storm drains clear and to monitor any potential problems that could have occurred,” Decerbo said, “but conditions are looking good this morning.”
Firefighters in North Kingstown had to evacuate 15 residents of an apartment building that flooded, and water also reached the basement of an apartment building on Oaklawn Avenue in Cranston, according to reports from WLNE and WPRI.
At one point early Thursday morning, a section of Route 95 was flooded through Providence, but that was later cleared, the state Department of Transportation said.
A COVID-19 test site at the Middletown Knights of Columbus Hall had to be closed Thursday because of overnight flooding, the Department of Health said.
As of 10:30 a.m., the highest observed rainfall total was at URI’s Peckham Farm, which received more than 9 inches of rain. Plains Road also received more than 9 inches. Measurements in Bristol and Warren topped 6 inches, and Cranston got more than 4 and a half inches.
Several Rhode Island rivers are rising towards moderate flood stage. The Pawtuxet River at Cranston is at 10.47 feet and could crest at 10.74 by Friday. The Blackstone river near Woonsocket (7.87), Woonasquatucket at Centredale (4.74), Wood River at Westerly (6.61), and the Wood River at Hope Valley (4.3) are expected to reach minor flood storage. There are likely other ungauged rivers and streams that are producing minor to moderate flooding, according to the NWS.
The Union Fire District of South Kingstown, a volunteer department, said it responded to 30 calls for service starting at 3 a.m., from flooded basements to alarms to residents trapped on flooded roadways. Multiple cars were stranded in the rising waters.
Unlike with Tropical Storm Henri, though, Rhode Island has mostly been spared major power outages. As of 9:15 a.m., 414 National Grid customers were without power around the state. The figure includes homes and businesses. Henri knocked out power to more than 100,000 customers.
Narragansett reported at 9:10 a.m. that water was receding and most roads in town were back open. Sprague Pond had overflowed, but the dam remained intact and there were no downstream dangers, the town said.
Hope Street in Bristol flooding this morning near where Washington/Thames/Hope meet, according to town police. "Do not attempt to drive around barricades or officers on posts right now you will not make it through." https://t.co/KUl7KO8vgT pic.twitter.com/8HFHSgGAxn— Brian Amaral (@bamaral44) September 2, 2021
Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a hurricane, but has since been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone — still capable of wreaking major damage around the Northeast.
As of early Thursday morning, the village of Greene got 5.1 inches of rain, Burrillville got 4.35 inches, and North Providence got 3.37 inches, according to National Weather Service data.
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