Major flooding closes streets and collapses building in Providence: Governor warns drivers to stay off roads

After an afternoon of heavy downpours, several streets and highways in and around Providence have flooded.

Steady rain is in the forecast through Monday night, Tuesday and into Wednesday.

Northern Rhode Island, Kent and Washington counties remain under flood warnings until 10:30 p.m. per the National Weather Service.

The Providence Journal is covering the issue on Tuesday.

What do know on Tuesday: Governor warned residents to stay off the road on Monday night

How much rain did Rhode Island get?: Here is the breakdown by community

Floodwaters linger along Providence streets, Rt. 10 covered in silt

Video from along streets in Providence shows water still covering roadways as rain continues into the night.

After being closed for several hours, Rt. 10 is back open, but parts of the road are covered in silt and mud from the previous flooding.

Spanish language statement from Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos:

"Las advertencias de inundaciones repentinas todavía están en efecto, y le instamos a permanecer fuera de las carreteras para los viajes no esenciales. RIDOT, RIEMA y la Policía Estatal de RI están trabajando para mantener las carreteras libre de obstáculos.

Manténgase seguro y no intente conducir a través de los charcos. Nuestra oficina continuará compartiendo actualizaciones a medida que estén disponibles."

Flood warning continues in parts of Rhode Island

The Flash Flood Warning for southern Providence County, Bristol County and central Kent County is scheduled to expire at 7:30 p.m. Monday night.

An Areal Flood Warning is in effect for Kent and Washington Counties until 9:30 p.m. Monday night.

Rain will continue in the forecast through Tuesday.

Gov. McKee: Stay home, more rain may be coming

In a press conference at 6 p.m., Governor Dan McKee warned Rhode Islanders to stay off the roads as more rain is coming.

"The most important thing that Rhode Islanders can do in any form of emergency is stay off the evening approaches and its starts getting dark you're not going to see the flooding accumulating on the roadways," he said. "You're not going to see any debris ... I know it may seem like the storm has slowed down but we're expecting there may be another surge."

McKee said over 4 inches of rain fell over Providence and surrounding areas in a short amount of time. The Rhode Island State Police have been moving stalled vehicles of highways like I-95 and Rts. 10 and 6, and there are about 600 reported power outages, mostly in Johnston and Lincoln.

Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti also spoke during the press conference, saying that the highway closures were due to the drainage systems becoming overwhelmed.

"It was not a blockage, it was simply that the rain came down at an intensity that exceeded its capacity to accept it," Alviti said of the drainage systems, adding that crews had been taking precautions and checking inlets to make sure they were clear of blockages before the storm.

Mayoral candidate campaigns on poor infrastructure after Atwells Avenue

Mayoral candidate Brett Smiley used the city's structural issues, exacerbated by the weather, to send a campaign message to the media on Monday night.

On Atwells Avenue near Bowdoin Street, a patched part of the road gave way, crumbling into pieces because of persistent rains.

"This is what happens when we don’t hold vendors accountable, when people don’t do their job, and when we have a city government that’s not focused on basic infrastructure," Smiley said, arguing that the city hasn't conducted proper oversight

"What’s really frustrating in moments like this [is] it’s not that we don’t pay, it’s that we don’t get," Smiley said. "I have no reason to believe that the city got cheap in how it did this work. The problem is that the vendor who is responsible for the patch didn’t do a good job, or the permanent patch didn’t happen in time."

Providence Water showed up after the street caved to handle the issue.

Shortly after Smiley's press conference, one of his opponents, Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune, called him out on Twitter.

"We need leaders who take responsibility," she wrote. "If serving as Chief Operating Officer of the City and Chief of Staff to the Mayor and Governor hasn’t allowed you to get the basics right, what will? We need change and a Mayor who will invest in Providence. Not more of the same."

Crews were seen on Atwells Avenue beginning to tear up the pavement and lay metal sheets down before putting in a more permanent fix for the road.

I-95 reopen in both directions

I-95 at Thurbers Avenue and Exit 18 is reopen after flooding has been cleared.

I-95 South moving again, I-95 North remains closed

Several reports on Twitter indicate Route 95 South is open again, while vehicles on 95 North are still waiting with the roadway closed.

Drivers have been stuck in traffic for more than two hours.

Streets closed around Providence due to flooding:

Providence police have closed the following streets as of 2:50 p.m. This list will be updated as more streets close or are opened:

  • Route 95 North and South at Thurbers Avenue are completely flooded

  • Hartford Avenue / Heath Street

  • Smith Street/ Gentian Avenue

  • 1 Exchange St.

  • Pleasant Valley Parkway / Berlin Street

  • 620 Huntington Ave.

  • 993 Manton Ave.

  • Valley Street / Eagle Street

  • 1 Sabin St.

  • Plainfield Street at Atwood Street

  • Hayward Street at Pearl Street

  • Streets around 215 Peace St. due to building collapse

Major flooding elsewhere in Rhode Island

  • 700 block of Atwells Avenue in Providence

  • Pavilion Avenue at Ocean Street in Providence

  • Numerous roads around East Providence and Cranston

Flood waters hit Cranston neighborhood

A Cranston resident recorded the flood waters outside his home on Columbia Avenue.

The video Michael Cameron posted to Twitter showed the roadway under water, obscured from sight.

“This has been an issue for the 13 years I’ve lived on Columbia Ave in Cranston. More flooded cars, blown manhole covers (so dangerous!) Let’s get this fixed.”

Building collapses in Providence due to heavy rains

An unoccupied building collapsed early Monday evening at 215 Peace Street in Providence, which is near the intersection of Waverly and Dexter streets, according to Providence Police.

There were no injuries.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Providence weather: Flooding wreaks havoc in Rhode Island