TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Just a few months ago, Tiverton resident Frank Raposa said his basement was flooding just about any time more than few raindrops fell from the sky — and he claimed the Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation (RIDOT) was to blame.
RIDOT, along with the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Association, had recently completed construction on the new Sakonnet River Bridge, and Raposa said the state’s construction backed up his drains and caused his basement to flood three times just six months.
Raposa was so frustrated with RIDOT, in fact, that he filed a lawsuit against the agency and spoke with Eyewitness News about the problem. Two days later, he said RIDOT officials began working on the pipes around his home.
Now, in mid-July, Raposa said he is starting to see progress.
“I knew there was a big storm coming,” he said Wednesday – referring to the severe thunderstorms that caused localized street flooding in several parts of southern New England. “In a way, this was a test of what they [RIDOT] have done to correct the flooding problem.”
Raposa said his storm drains were completely cleaned and temporary barriers were installed before this week’s rainfall, and he said that is the first step of solving the problem.
“There is still a lot more to be done,” Raposa said, referring to – among other things – a large, washed-out hole on his property.
But, he said his basement didn’t flood and that he is happy with the progress.
He hopes a final solution is finished by August.