Rain ends but rivers still rising
A flood warning remains in effect for the Pawtuxet River and areas along the Pawcatuck River on Friday.
The National Weather Service said the river was at 9.7 feet just before 5 a.m. Friday, and was expected to rise to about 10.3 feet by the end of the day, well above the flood stage of 9 feet.
That is still well below the levels from March, 2010, when the worst flooding in 200 years put many areas of the state underwater.
The Pawtuxet River crested at a record 20.79 feet that year.
According to NBC 10 Meteorologist Mark Searles, 9 inches of rain fell in the last seven days at T.F. Green Airport.
A flood watch was in effect through Saturday morning for most of Southern New England, except the Cape and Islands.
Stormy weather in the mid-Atlantic was disrupted air travel Thursday. U.S. Airways canceled two evening flights from T.F. Green Airport to Philadelphia. Other flights to Washington were canceled or delayed, according to Green's website.
The National Weather Service said some areas of Providence and Kent counties along the Pawtuxet have experienced minor flooding. Water levels were expected to continue rising Friday.
A flood warning in effect for western Washington County also was extended. The weather service said some homes in low-lying areas of Westerly and Hopkinton are expected to see flooding. In Westerly, the Pawcatuck River was at 7.5 feet above flood stage.
Workers at the Department of Public Works in Burrillville filled sandbags, which are available to anyone who needs them. The town was also checking storm drains and culverts to keep them clear.
DPW workers in other communities were on the same mission Tuesday.
"Yes, we are worried. A 1-inch rainstorm not as much as a 3-inch rainstorm, as common sense would tell you. We tend to focus our efforts on keeping catch basins open. They tend to get clogged with debris, leaves, sticks, things like that," Jim Galuska, the Bristol public works director said.
Crews in Fall River ensured roadways were clear, potholes were filled and storm drains were free of debris.
"On average, it takes about four years to clean every catch basin throughout the community," Mayor Will Flanagan said.
The mayor said there are some 10,000 storm drains throughout the city, and he said residents who see something blocking a drain to pick it up.
"By them doing their part and them being able to get to it before we can, it will help also to prevent flooding from occurring on the streets," Flanagan said.
The mayor said the city has reduced the water levels in Watuppa Pond, but because of all the rain, the levels are high again and that more rain could cause coastal flooding.
"If you take the step to take your low-lying items and move them up, you'll hopefully prevent them from being ruined," Flanagan said.
Westerly Town Manager Steven Hartford said officials are closely monitoring conditions on Hiscox Road along the Pawtucket River in north Westerly and are prepared to close the road or help move residents if necessary.
"We're concerned and we're watching it carefully," Hartford said.
The poor weather forced the postponement of New Bedford High School commencement. The school system said graduation ceremonies will take place at 7 p.m. Friday.
Stay with Storm Team 10 for the latest weather updates throughout the day.