Exercise Caution in Wake of Severe Thunderstorms

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is urging Rhode Islanders to use caution in the wake of the severe thunderstorm that occurred early Tuesday, August 4.  

A severe thunderstorm containing strong winds, torrential rains, and even hail, passed through the State of Rhode Island early Tuesday, creating widespread power outages, downed trees, and flooded roads in some areas. While damage assessments are currently still underway, the majority of the power outages occurred in the Cranston/Warwick area. 

“We urge Rhode Islanders to use caution while removing debris from their property and conducting personal damage assessments,” said Director Peter Gaynor. “While the storm has passed, there are several hazards that still exist due to downed trees and power lines and flooded roads. We have activated the State Emergency Operations Center and are working very closely with state agencies and local emergency managers, as well as National Grid and Red Cross, to assess damage throughout the state.”  

Some injuries have occurred due to downed trees stemming from the storm, but no casualties have been reported. Here are some safety tips for Rhode Islanders:

  • Always assume that a downed wire is a live wire. Do not touch!
  • If you are a National Grid customer, report a downed wire or a power outage by calling 1-800-465-1212. Do not call 911. 
  • Treat all intersections where traffic lights are out as a four-way stop.
  • Avoid hanging tree limbs that appear to be damaged.
  • Avoid driving through flooded roads, as even a foot of water can cause a motorist to become stranded.
  • Photograph and record all property/vehicle damages and report to your insurance provider.

There is a potential for additional thunderstorms to occur later in the afternoon. Stay informed by monitoring local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and follow the instructions of state and local officials. 

For additional questions please contact RIEMA at (401) 946-9996.

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