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Storms move out of region, leaving little damage behind

Firefighters waded through flooded Oaklawn Avenue in Cranston, R.I., to check on drivers on Monday.WJAR/TurnTo10.com via AP

Heavy rains pounded parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts for a second day Tuesday, causing downed trees scattered across the region but little flooding and few power outages, authorities said.

The storm was relatively mild in Boston, where the rainfall ended just after 7 p.m., leaving a two-day total of less than 1 inch of accumulation, according to Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norton.

Worcester had a two-day total of 3.62 inches, while the Greater Providence area saw 10 to 11 inches of accumulation between Monday and Tuesday, Simpson said.

“The jackpot was just around Providence and into East Central Connecticut,” he said. “So that was about a 10-mile-wide band of pretty heavy flooding.”

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Tuesday night, downed trees and power lines were reported in communities around the region, but there were no major power outages. Statewide, only about 1,200 electric customers were without power shortly after 9 p.m., according to the Massachusetts Emergency Agency’s online outage map.

In Lawrence, a tree fell into a transformer near Riverside Drive, police said about 8:30 p.m. In Dracut, police said an electric pole had caught fire near 156 Pleasant St. and National Grid was on the scene. In Billerica, a tree or large branch was reported downed near 15 Glenwood Road, police said.

The National Weather Service issued flood watches for parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the morning but canceled them in the afternoon.

#Flood watch is canceled!” the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency tweeted at 1:43 p.m. “The threat for heavy rain and additional flooding has come to an end.”

The weather service said the flood watch for parts of Massachusetts was also canceled.

National Weather Service meteorologist Torry Gaucher said rainfall rates on Tuesday were nowhere close to Monday’s deluge that flooded parts of Interstate 95 in Providence and left Cranston as the place where the most rain fell. Forecasters said Tuesday afternoon that Cranston had received 11.06 inches.

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On Monday “we were seeing rainfall rates of three inches an hour which caused that deluge in Providence. Today rainfall rates are maybe up to an half inch an hour.”

A building on Peace Street had its roof collapse during the heavy rain on Monday night. RayTheDroneGuy

The Woonasquatucket River near Centerdale was in minor flood stage Tuesday at a level of 5.67 feet, forecasters wrote.

Elsewhere in Rhode Island, rain totals included Providence (8.31), Smithfield (7.95) and North Providence (7.31), per the weather service. In Massachusetts, forecasters said Tuesday afternoon, rainfall totals included 5.37 inches in Attleborough, 4.8 inches in North Attleborough, 4 inches in Rehoboth, 4.1 inches in Douglas, 4.06 inches in Auburn, 4.02 inches in Grafton, 3.54 inches in Franklin, 3.4 inches in Framingham, 3.02 inches in Lexington, 3.2 inches in Westfield, and 3.75 inches in Southwick.

Gaucher said the heavy rains are clearly beneficial in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, two states the Drought Monitor has identified as suffering through extreme drought conditions. He said the Drought Monitor will determine the impact of the two days of rain on conditions, not the weather service.

“This is definitely much needed and beneficial rain to help us kind of dig out of the drought,’' he said. “This amount of rain especially across, Rhode Island, Connecticut, southeast Massachusetts will go a long ways in helping to reverse some of the drought part of the area.”

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But, he added, for trees and other vegetation stressed by the lack of water during the summer months, it may have arrived too late. “Those things are kind of irreversible at this point,’' he said.

On Monday, flash flooding on Interstate 95 in Providence trapped some drivers for several hours until the flooding receded, officials said. By Monday night, traffic was moving in both directions of I-95 by about 7:15 p.m., officials said.

A building at 215 Peace St. in Providence collapsed during the flooding. It was unoccupied at the time, and no injuries were reported, officials said

Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti told reporters on Monday that drainage systems had not become blocked during the flash flooding, which dumped more than 4 inches of rain on Providence and surrounding areas in a short period of time.

“It was simply that the rain came down at an intensity that exceeded its capacity to accept it,” he said during the press conference.

Forecasters said some rain will persist into Wednesday and the wet conditions will be followed by dry weather into next week.

Material from earlier Globe coverage was used in this report. Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff contributed.




John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.