In Rhode Island, Residents Pack Up Ahead of ‘life-threatening Flooding’

(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Cumberland, R.I.) - Just two weeks after the Pawtuxet River set an all-time high water record, the river is rising to beat it. And people along the banks are heading to higher ground, protecting what they can or taking it to higher ground.

NECN's Josh Brogadir has more from the Blackstone Valley in Cumberland, R.I.

There's been heavy rain most of the afternoon and evening, filling the already swollen Blackstone River which is expected to crest well above flood stage perhaps Wednesday or early Thursday.

The Pawtuxet River - is not much better off.

There are voluntary, but suggested evacuations for people living in places that flooded two weeks ago.

"I feel like Noah."

Noah, also known as Dave Englund is unloading the first floor of his Cranston, Rhode Island home with the help of friends, and packing this ark, more commonly known as a UHaul.

He lives on the edge of the
Pawtuxet River, which flooded 7 feet over its banks two weeks ago, sending debris from all the houses into his backyard.

And this time, forecasters are expecting it to be even worse.

"It's supposed to be worse, (cresting at) 16 feet plus," said Michael Walldeck, of Cranston.

Sixteen plus as in 16 feet plus.

This is like a "sandbags to save rooms" campaign for all homeowners on Perkins Avenue, including Corinne Bird and family, who know their basements will get wet and are trying to save everything else.

Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency's Steve Kass had a bit of good news for rain weary Ocean staters, explaining that President Barack Obama had just made a disaster declaration allowing for federal funding from FEMA.

"That's the best thing I've heard all day, let it rain!" exclaimed Dave Englund.

But in Cumberland along the Blackstone River, let it rain is not what they want to hear at Hope Global, a textile manufacturer where everything that can be put up on desks and tables - is off the floor.

This place had $5 million in damage from flooding back in 2005 according to Cheryl Merchant, the company's CEO and President.

We do hear the Blackstone could rise to 18 feet, which would be a disaster for hope Global, but if it does not overflow its banks, they've already lost a week of production having to essentially dismantle the place.

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