Storm brings heavy rain, street flooding, lightning strikes

Davol Street, Fall River, July 16, 2014.

A storm Wednesday brought heavy rain, flash flooding and lightning strikes across Southern New England.

Lightning struck a tree, went through a garage and apartment and traveled into a house on Locust Street in Swansea at about 8:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.

"The electric had been hit in the garage. It had blown off part of the siding. All of the electric went out in the house," said homeowner Jim Nightingale.

Nightingale said his daughter's doctor's appointment was canceled, so she was home to see the small fire that started from the electrical surge into a washing machine.

"Otherwise she would have actually been gone by the time the lightning hit," he said.

Nightingale said if she wasn't home, the fire would have probably burned the rest of the house down.

Westerly emergency officials said a worker at a sewage treatment plant was hospitalized after lightning struck the facility Wednesday morning.

According to Beth Gingerella, chief of the Westerly Ambulance Corps., lightning struck the plant at about 8:15 a.m. and that the worker was taken to the hospital with injuries that were described as non-life threatening.

Gingerella said the worker was holding a metal door when the lightning struck. Gingerella said the worker said he felt a "tingling sensation" in his body after the strike.

Areas reporting the most rain included Narragansett, South Kingstown, Fall River, and Dighton. Narragansett, South Kingstown and Fall River had more than two inches of rain.

In some of the heavy downpours, raining was falling at the rate of an inch an hour. Storm drains couldn't handle the rain resulting in flooded roadways.

Rain was coming down hard in Fall River at Quarry and Pleasant streets, too much for the gutters to handle, which prompted the city to put up barricades to prevent accidents.

"Do not drive through it. You don't know how deep it's going to be. Cars get stuck, break down. Turn around and find a dry spot to go through," said Terrance Sullivan of Fall River Utilities.

He said the utility company is working on a city-wide plan for flood improvement.

"This area needs about $20 million worth of work to make the improvements to be able to manage these intense rainfalls," Sullivan said.