Heavy rainfall prompts businesses to prepare for potential flooding

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Most of Southern New England got one to two inches of rain over the weekend. The most rain fell in South County with some spots getting 2-2.5 inches.

The water in the Pocasset River in Johnston was moving very quickly on Monday following the rain. But even though the river was swollen, it was still within its banks.

Downstream on the Pocasset, Jack Lindenfeld owns a business on Fletcher Avenue.

“Most of the flooding in this area comes from the Pocasset River which is behind my building,” Lindenfeld said.

The Pocasset River. (Courtesy of SkyDrone 12)

Lindenfeld said he just recently bought the building, which will be used as storage units once renovations are complete. He said he had to buy flood insurance on the building because it’s in a flood plain.

“They usually close this street down because it gets to about three feet of water,” Lindenfeld said.

While flooding was absent on this day, sump pumps were busy protecting area homes and business from a high water table.

The winter has been fairly wet. Rainfall for meteorological winter (December through February), has been three inches above average.  As of Feb. 12, 12.30 inches of rain has fallen at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, where Rhode Island’s climatology records are kept.

Lindenfeld has owned his property for about a year and a half now and said he hasn’t had flooding at all. He said the flooding usually starts farther up the road than where his property is located, but flooding is still on his mind. In fact, he said he took a ride to check out how the other buildings on the road were this Sunday.

“When you forecast 2-3 inches of rain, I get a little nervous, you know,” he said. “It’s human nature to be nervous.”

The spring flooding outlook from the National Weather Service currently indicates that we have a below average chance for flooding here in Southern New England.

According to the outlook, produced by the National Weather Service in Taunton, river levels are running at “normal to above normal levels,” but snow pack and snow water equivalent is “below normal.”