EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Experts say the storm surge may be the number one concern about the approaching Hurricane Irene. Eyewitness News Meteorologist Pete Mangione explains exactly what a storm surge is, and how it differs from other types of flooding.
A storm surge is an abnormal rise in ocean water that is triggered by wind, not rain. It is dependent on wind speed, wind direction, and tides.
If high enough, storm surges cause coastal flooding. The storm surge is a hurricane's number one killer. In a worst case scenario, strong winds push ocean water toward land during high tide.
The infamous Hurricane of 1938 churned up a twenty-foot storm surge in Narragansett Bay. Hurricane Carol created a fourteen-foot storm surge. Both left Providence underwater.
Hurricane Bob also produced a ten- to fifteen-foot storm surge in Buzzard's Bay.
Hurricanes and tropical storms often contain torrential rains, which create a different flooding hazard separate from the storm surge.
Police said Will Girard was traveling more than 100 miles per hour when he struck another vehicle at the intersection of Routes 6 and 94 in Foster.
A murder trial is expected to begin Wednesday, but without its potential star witness.
Nineteen students have reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness since Saturday.
A vacant home in Providence was heavily damaged by an overnight blaze, the cause of which is now being investigated as suspicious.
The child was taken to Hasbro Children's Hospital with injuries that did not appear life-threatening.