Rhode Island: Grid Lock, Massive DamageApril 1, 2010 - 9:31 AM | by: Molly Line
As the waters recede across the Northeast communities are beginning to take stock of the damage left by flooding of historic proportions.
In Rhode Island, where the Pawtuxet River rose to record levels, 11 feet over flood stage, some homes and businesses are still underwater and could remain water logged for days.
I-95 is still closed but Governor Don Carcieri says the National Guard is working feverishly to get the major interstate back open by afternoon. He’s hoping it will offer relief to drivers trapped in grid lock.
The economic repercussions will be immense for the state, which already has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, lingering consistently near 12 percent.
President Obama approved a federal declaration of disaster and FEMA will act as the primary agency distributing aid to cover the cost of recovery for businesses and individuals.
Flooded sewage and electrical facilities must be repaired and state authorities continue to urge residents to flush toilets only when absolutely necessary and try to keep electricity use to a minimum.
In the wake of the storm, both federal and state authorities are offering water weary residents a last minute tax break- The Internal Revenue Service and the Rhode Island Division of Taxation extended the deadline for income tax returns, giving residents until May 11th to file.