The portion of Interstate 95 closed by flooding in Rhode Island could reopen by rush hour this evening, a spokespersonn for the Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation has told FleetOwner.
“Most of the water has abated,” said Charles St. Martin. “We’re in the process of evaluating it and we hope to open it by the end of the day.”
A portion of I-95, the main route for commercial traffic through Rhode Island connecting Boston to New York, was flooded after some 10 in. of rain was dumped on the state over two days. The resulting floods, which saw several rivers in the state surge past previous record flood stages, have left Rhode Island covered in water, affecting everything from travel to retail operations.
According to The Providence Journal newspaper, many businesses in the state could remain closed for months. The Journal has posted online an aerial video of the flooded one-million sq. ft. Warwick Mall, which sits about a mile from the flooded portion of I-95.
Gov. Donald Carcieri said the flood is the worst in the state’s history and President Barack Obama has already declared most of the counties in the state Federal Disaster Areas.
Right now, I-95 in Rhode Island remains 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.