Work crews began demolishing six homes in Cranston that are prone to flooding from the nearby Pawtuxet River.
The city is using $1.2 million in federal funding to buy the homes on Perkins Avenue and knock them down to help eliminate the problem. Several homes on the street were damaged during the flooding of March 2010.
Demolition of the first house began Wednesday.
"Today closes a very long chapter in Cranston's history, a very sad history since those 2010 floods," said Mayor Allan Fung.
U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse spearheaded the program to secure the money.
"It took many, many months. We worked together. We got it through," Reed said. "And then it took the city several years of planning to work with the homeowners and then lead to today."
Margaret McKenna, who lives on Perkins Avenue, said she's finally feeling a sense of closure.
"It's been hell. You didn't know what you were doing. You didn't know where you were going," she said. "It's definitely the right thing and let these people get on with their lives. I'm happy for them."
Resident Brian Dupont said more money is needed.
"Everyone knew that's not enough to buy nine or 10 houses. So we knew someone was going to get shut out. And what has happened is out of the 10, four have gone to foreclosure. Forty percent," he said.
Fung said the city was able to secure another $400,000 from a similar state program and that they are trying to look at what they can do to maybe purchase a couple more homes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.