Flood Devastation in Rhode Island

RT. 91 Charlestown, RI
Rhode Island is usually the brunt of many jokes on my radio show because the state is so small that many listeners like to say that I’m the only person here. Rhode Island is definitely a small, quaint, and very old state rich with history and unmatched New England splendor. Rhode Island, the Ocean State, is well known for her well manicured beaches in the summer and a major stop for Leaf Peepers every fall. It’s been the home of many movies from The Great Gatsby and Meet Joe Black to Underdog and television series like Brotherhood but more than anything it’s home to me and nearly a million other people and right now many of them are suffering.

I’ve always said I liked R.I. because we never had to worry about too many things. There are no poisonous snakes, scorpions, or alligators that are indigenous here nor do we get earthquakes, mudslides or tornadoes. Our biggest worry are the hurricanes and even with those we have been lucky.  It seems our luck has run out on natural disasters since the Tuesday. It’s been raining a lot here lately and last week we had excessive rainfall that led to some flooding. Lots of basements and some displaced people but all in all it was relatively handled. This week everything changed.

It rained on Monday and it just felt like it would never stop. On Tuesday the rain was just pounding and when my bus pulled into the Warwick Mall it just pulled in and turned around because the amount of water in the parking lot was unreal. As it turned out we were the last bus to be able to go into the parking lot. By the time my meeting was over I called Jeff and he told me that several major sections of road were closed off that were on my bus route. He told me to get off the bus at the Community College of Rhode Island and that he would pick me up and bring me home using back roads.  Needless to say, our adventure home that would normally take 15 minutes from the college took us well over an hour and the only way we could get to our home was to leave the car down the street and walk since the State Police wouldn’t let cars down our road.

After getting home and drying out we started to see a lot of flood pictures on Facebook and on the news wires. This was unbelievable. On the local news Tuesday night it was said that the flood level for one major river in RI was 9 feet and they anticipated by midnight that the water level would be cresting at 18 feet. TWICE the flood level! Before the sun set on Wednesday many people were homeless, the kids haven’t been in school since Tuesday morning, and major dams in the area are in danger of breaking and more people are being evacuated. The central part of our state looks like a war zone with National Guard details everywhere and major roadways still barricaded and a once thriving mall is nearly completely submerged.

Today, the sun is shining for the first time in a long time but it’s only highlighting the devastation and the suffering. As the shock settles people are looking at exactly what kind of clean up we are facing here in the Ocean State and it’s going to be a long time before we go back to being the warm, friendly, Northeast vacation paradise.

Are you in Rhode Island? What is happening in your neighborhood?

About the Author

Regina Foster Bartlett is a mother of two teenagers who recently married her soulmate and believes her favorite wedding gift was the addition of four stepchildren and four grandchildren! She’s a confessed tech-nerd who loves all things social media. She’s also a published freelance writer and she’s been blogging since before blogging was cool. She's the voice behind the radio broadcast and writer behind this blog. Always on the lookout for interesting stories she can be reached by emailing: regina@reginasuniverse.com or using the Contact form by clicking the link above.