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Weather service warns R.I. residents of ‘rapid rises’ of streams and rivers

The nor’easter off of southeastern New England is expected to bring snow to Rhode Island this afternoon

A satellite image of forecast flooding on the Pawtuxet River from Kent to Providence counties in Rhode Island.National Weather Service

No damage has been reported in Rhode Island from a nor’easter offshore of southeastern New England, but the steady drum of rain Tuesday has prompted the National Weather Service to issue flood warnings in some parts of the state.

A flood warning is now in effect for the Pawtuxet River.

The NWS reports that the Pawtuxet was at 8.8 feet as of 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday and is expected to rise to 10.6 feet by Wednesday night, a level that would exceed flood stage (9 feet).

Affected areas include homes and businesses on Wellington Avenue and Avery Road in Cranston, and Pioneer Avenue, Bellows Street, Venturi Avenue, and part of River Street in Warwick.


The 12.3-mile-long Pawtuxet River — spanning Kent and Providence counties — is connected to the Scituate Reservoir and empties into upper Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center shows that Providence has received 2.15 inches of rainfall, Westerly has 1.5 inches, and Newport has 1.34 inches since the storm began Monday. Radar indicates that parts of Providence County may have already received 3-4 inches of precipitation.

A winter storm warning is in effect for a portion of northern Rhode Island, northern Connecticut, and eastern and northeastern Massachusetts.

So far, the NWS snowfall report does now show any recorded snowfall in Rhode Island.

Higher elevations — over 1,000 feet — are receiving significant snowfall. Sterling in Worcester County, Mass., about an hour and a half north of Providence, reports 16 inches of snowfall.

Coastal Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts are not expecting much snow accumulation until late afternoon and this evening, the NWS said.

Carlos Muñoz can be reached at Follow him @ReadCarlos and on Instagram @Carlosbrknews.