Remnants of Ida flood streets, blow out road, overwhelm system

Torrential rains overnight flood Silver Creek, snarling traffic

Posted 9/2/21

The deluge of Wednesday night into Thirsday morning, remnants of Hurricane Ida, which hit the Gulf Coast near New Orleans as a category 4 hurricane, dumped some 6 inches of rain on the region. It …

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Remnants of Ida flood streets, blow out road, overwhelm system

Torrential rains overnight flood Silver Creek, snarling traffic

Posted

The deluge of Wednesday night into Thursday morning, remnants of Hurricane Ida, which hit the Gulf Coast near New Orleans as a category 4 hurricane, dumped some 7 inches of rain on the region. It even spawned rare tornado warnings late Wednesday. Thursday morning, Hope Street (route 114) was completely blocked by Silver Creek overflowing its banks. Chesnut Street was also blocked.

Surveying the scene by the intersection of Hope and Washington Streets, Capt. Brian Burke of the Bristol Police Department and John Olson of the RI Department of Transportation, said they were not sure how long it would take for the waters to drop to passable levels, but were hopeful that things would be back to normal around noon.

A couple of miles south from there, the town's water pollution control department was dealing with an array of challenges. The massive volume of rainwater overwhelmed the system, particularly in the area where Hope Street and Ferry Road meet, just south of the treatment plant. At 10 a.m., untreated water was still pouring out of manhole covers, unable to even reach the plant. A town crew was feeding chlorine into the water at several points to provide some sanitation for what was washing down the streets.

An area of roadway roughly 15 feet in diameter was blown out by the enormous water pressure, with the asphalt actually lifted out of place. Once the water recedes, the road will have to be repaired.

Silver Creek, flood

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.