Securing construction sites and reviewing known problem areas have kept the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) busy in the past few days as Hurricane Earl progresses north toward Southern New England.
RIDOT officials have been conferring with other State agencies all week, including the R.I. Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), to prepare for heavy rains and high winds associated with tropical storms or hurricanes. RIDOT has allocated the resources and personnel necessary to address problems associated with this storm and with post-storm clean up.
“Although Rhode Island has not experienced a significant hurricane event in some time, our experience with major snow storms and this spring’s historic flooding have us well prepared for Earl,” RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis said. “We are ready.”
RIDOT has been working with its contractors to secure its construction sites. The Department has identified a number of known drainage “hot spots” from the historic flooding in March and has visited these sites to ensure all storm drains, grates and discharge lines are clear of debris that could exacerbate flooding.
Just as in a winter storm, motorists should conclude travel as conditions worsen. Heavy rains can cause locally flooding and ponding of water on highways. As winds intensify, the likelihood increases for road closures due to debris such as tree limbs. Traffic signals may be out as well due to power outages.
Over this Labor Day holiday weekend, motorists can report blocked roads, flooding or other storm-related problems to RIDOT’s Transportation Management Center at any time at 222-2378. Information may also be posted on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) and its social media sites on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Blogger.
RIEMA has extensive information on its website (www.riema.ri.gov) regarding preparation plans and tips for tropical storms.
Dana Alexander Nolfe 401-222-1362 x 4450 - Desk 401-265-5197 – Cell
Joint Information Center 401-275-4038 NGRISTAFFPAO@ng.army.mil