Uncut video of the Rhode Island flooding (WCVB Channel 5/ Boston)
The heavy rains that have drenched the Northeast in the past two days have resulted in numerous road closures-- including a section of Interstate 95 in Rhode Island, the main highway for commercial vehicles traversing the state and the major road link between upper and lower New England.
Gov. Donald Carcieri, whose state received up to 10 in. of rain in the past 48 hours, said the section of road, which is under 3 ½ feet of water, could be closed into Thursday, and perhaps even Friday.
Rhode Island DOT spokesperson Charles St. Martin told FleetOwner that RIDOT was unsure of when that section of road may reopen, but the Pawtuxet River that runs alongside the highway was “at the level of the road.”
I-95 in Rhode Island is closed at Exit 11 on the northbound side and at Exit 14 in the southbound lanes. Vehicles are being detoured onto Interstate 295 and then onto Route 37, although traffic is backing up on Route 37, causing additional delays.
St. Martin said there were upwards of 70 road closures throughout the state, but of the major arteries, only I-95 was affected. The state is updating travelers on its Twitter page and on Facebook.
Parts of Eastern Connecticut that border Rhode Island were also hard-hit by the rain, prompting Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell to dispatch the National Guard for assistance. As of this morning, though, traffic was still moving on I-95 in Connecticut.
In Massachusetts, a state DOT spokesperson told FleetOwner there are no major problems on the major highways. He added there are some lane restrictions, particularly on Route 128, mainly due to potholes that have appeared because of the rain, and there a number of local roads closed. See a map of the affected area
President Barack Obama has approved Gov. Carcieri’s request for disaster relief funds.
“We are still recovering from the last storm, and now facing a weather system that is expected to bring rain and floods of historic proportions,” the Rhode Island governor said. “I extend our appreciation to President Obama for the quick response to our request, and to FEMA officials for their guidance and support through this process.”
Gov. Carcieri has requested that all businesses, schools and government offices be closed in the state.