PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Rhode Islanders are beginning to assess the damage from Hurricane Sandy on Monday night as gusty winds continue to fade and water levels have receded amid significant flooding in various parts of the state.
Early reports indicated Aquidneck Island and South County were hit hardest by the storm, with at least one house destroyed in Matunuck, where erosion is an ongoing problem. There were widespread reports of washed-out streets, fallen trees and debris blocking roadways but no casualties and relatively little alarm.
Tuesday morning, Gov. Chafee will tour South County communities that sustained damage in Hurricane Sandy. He'll first visit the Coast Guard House, Ocean Road area of Narragansett, then visit Matunuck, Charlestown, and Misquamicut.
National Grid said about 116,303 Rhode Island customers were without electricity at around 7:25 a.m. Tuesday. Most of the power outages were in the southern part of the state. There were few residents using temporary shelters.
The National Weather Service reported peak wind gusts of 86 mph in Westerly, 73 mph in Warren and 71 mph in Barrington, with gusts of more than 50 mph in most parts of the state. Sustained winds of 81 mph were recorded at Point Judith at 2:40 p.m.
Most school districts in the state canceled classes for a second day Tuesday and garbage collection was delayed. Transportation was a challenge as RIPTA and the MBTA suspended transit service and flights stopped at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick. Officials asked residents to stay off the roads.
Warwick urged voluntarily evacuations in Conimicut and Oakland Beach as flooding inundated areas near the water. In Barrington, floodwaters stopped traffic at the famous white church at the intersection of Route 114 and Massasoit Avenue. Part of the roof was ripped off a post office in East Providence.
Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, N.J., around 8 p.m. as a post-tropical cyclone. The storm surge in Rhode Island peaked during high tide around 8:30.
"The forecast is ominous," Gov. Lincoln Chafee warned residents at a late afternoon briefing, where Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts said parts of Rhode Island that rarely flood could do so during the storm.
The National Weather Service had a High Wind Warning in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday and a Coastal Flood Warning in effect until 1 p.m. Tuesday for Southern New England.
Mandatory evacuations were ordered before Sandy's arrival in Bristol, Charlestown, Fall River, Middletown, Narragansett, South Kingstown, Tiverton and Westerly. Most schools, offices and businesses closed for much of Monday to wait out the storm.
President Obama signed pre-landfall disaster declarations for Rhode Island and Massachusetts and promised to provide any federal assistance requested by the state's governors.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier in Providence during the day Monday as well as the New Bedford Hurricane Barrier. "The barrier worked superbly," Providence Public Safety Commissioner Stephen Pare said Monday night.
Walt Buteau contributed to this report.
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