Heavy rain and high winds on Saturday night and Sunday could cause damage, flooding

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Clara Decerbo are advising Providence residents to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Henri on Sunday.

Although the storm is shifting west as it approaches New England, Henri is expected to bring dangerous storm surge inundation and tropical storm conditions to Rhode Island, including strong, damaging winds of 30 to 60 with gusts to 70 miles per hour and heavy, extended rain that could cause significant flooding.

In coordination with the American Red Cross, the City will be opening a regional shelter beginning on Saturday evening at 8:00pm. The shelter will be located at the Providence Career & Technical Academy, 41 Fricker Street, Providence and will be open to all individuals needing a safe place to shelter from the storm. No pets will be allowed in the shelter and water and snacks will be provided. Masks will be required in the shelter at all times and COVID-19 precautions will be closely followed.

Weather forecasts are ongoing and Henri’s track may change over the next 12 hours, however, the potential impacts from this storm are likely to include downed trees, power outages, coastal flooding and beach erosion.

The City of Providence will provide regular updates to the public through the news media. Updates will also be posted on social media. Follow these accounts for the most current information:

The Department of Public Works will be checking storm drains to ensure that they are clear of debris. Residents are asked to please assist the Public Works Department by ensuring leaves and debris are cleared from street drains and catch basins in front of their homes and on corners, as significant rain and local flooding is likely.

Officials will also closely monitor areas prone to flooding and work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for operating the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier.

Spin will be securing bicycles and removing scooters from streets starting Saturday in preparation for inclement weather.

Mariners and residents are advised to avoid any activity on the water, as offshore rip currents and strong seas are expected.

Residents are advised to take the following precautions to prepare for the storm:

  • Seek shelter in advance of the expected start of the storm.
  • Secure lawn furniture and outdoor decorations.
  • Store trash cans in a garage, if you have one, or secure them in your yard.
  • Take down anything that can be sent airborne in heavy winds.
  • Clear any debris from street drains and catch basins in front of your home.
  • In the event of flooding, stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way.
  • Make sure your vehicle has enough gas in the event of power outages that could close gas stations.
  • Assemble an emergency kit with a 72-hour supply of water, a First Aid kit, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, warm blankets or sleeping bags, extra clothing, pet food and books, puzzles, games and other activities for children.
  • Be prepared with working flashlights, a battery operated radio, keep mobile phones charged, and an extra supply of batteries in your home. The Providence Emergency Management Agency, public utilities and other emergency response agencies will provide regular updates to the news media regarding power outages, street closures and other vital information.
  • Never touch downed power lines. It is safer to assume that all fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see a downed power line, report it immediately to National Grid at (800) 322-3223.  Report any fallen branches that pose a danger to the Fire Department at 274-3344.  In the event of an emergency, call 911.
  • Do not operate generators indoors.
  • Do not operate grills indoors. 

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