Flooding in Johnston neighborhood damaging homes, impacting travel


JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Right now, Belfield Drive in Johnston looks more like a pond than a street.

Approximately 10 inches of water flooded the neighborhood due to recent rainstorms, making it difficult for residents to drive down the street.

While it’s been a hassle for some residents get in and out of the neighborhood, the flood water is also causing damage to nearby homes.

Karen Casey tells Eyewitness News she has about 8 inches of water in her basement as a result of the flooding.

“I had to turn my furnace off because the water is so high and I have no heat now, no hot water,” Casey explained.

On Thursday morning, Casey’s son helped her salvage some of her personal belongings from the basement.

“He is at least trying to salvage the washer and dryer,” Casey said.

Casey said the situation has become worse over the last couple of days, but the flooding has been happening on the street for approximately two weeks.

“They said it’s not a public safety issue, I think it is, there is going to be mold in here,” Casey explained. “I am a cancer survivor, I’m almost six months out from chemotherapy, my immune system is weakened from that… and now I have the chance of having mold in my basement.”

It’s not the first time the area has dealt with floods. The neighborhood was under water during the historic flooding of 2010.

“I bought that furnace because of the last flood, so that furnace is only 8 years old and if something happens to that now, I don’t know how I’m going to replace it,” Casey said.

After a meeting at Johnston Town Hall Thursday, the federal government officially issued a local disaster declaration for the area. Federal and state engineers believe a clogged culvert, from years of debris flowing into it, was the original cause of the flooding.

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