Flood Emergency Posted for Pawtuxet, Blackstone Rivers in R.I. | NECN

Flood Emergency Posted for Pawtuxet, Blackstone Rivers in R.I.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (NECN: Ally Donnelly, Cranston, RI) - As day turns into night rain continues to fall in Cranston Rhode, Island, hammering this Perkins Avenue neighborhood.

    "It's really hard and it's scary," said Vergen Nieves.

    Many homes under  water as the Pawtuxet River spills well over its banks. The bulk of families evacuated hours ago -- the hold outs urged to follow suit. Watching the water slowly creep up their street, the Nieves's packed up the kids and headed to the in laws.

    Javier Nieves sadi, "Whaddaya gonna do? It's mother nature."

    It is the awesome power of mother nature that is luring oglers to the Providence Street Bridge in nearby West Warwick.

    "It looks like rapids," said Chris Bouchard. "It's akin to the Colorado River."

    The deluge of water has brought the worst flooding to Rhode Island in 100 years.

    RI Governor Don Carcieri said, "The worst of this flooding is still ahead of us, as bad as this looks."

    Flood stage for the Pawtuxet is 9 feet -- but federal officials say it is cresting at more than twice that -- at 18.8 feet. And Governor Don Carcieri warns it could get close to 20.

    "We're in an unprecedented area right now in terms of all the water we're absorbing," Carcieri said.

    Flooding forced Linda Keller from the Providence Street home she's lived in for 20 years.

    "I woke up to 6 feet of water in my house," she said.

    West Warwick's town manager declared a state of emergency and ordered mandatory evacuations of hundreds of homes around the river.

    "You can't believe, you cannot believe," Keller stuttered. "It's like looking at the ocean with everything floating in it." d

    In nearby Warwick, waterproofing companies worked feverishly to save this sprawling office building, but the lost the battle.

    One manager warned, "It's gonna collapse doors and windows pretty soon with the weight of it."

    The weight of water, shutting down the East Bound Connector to the airport....the governor fearing sections of Interstate 95 could follow suit and no rush to make that sale -- the Warwick Mall...flooded out.

    Watching the river from a Warwick bridge, Kristina Gallagher said, "It's kind of cool, it's exciting."

    Seen and smelled -- Warwick's Wastewater treatment plant. The main tanks are underwater and the sewer authority is asking locals not to flush their toilets or raw sewage could back up into their homes. Bob Burgess says as the hours tick by...it could get dicey.

    "I don't really like it," Burgess said, "But you do what you gotta do, ya know?"