PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A portion of I-195 West in East Providence was shut down for hours on Tuesday due to flooding.
Severe thunderstorms moving through the area flooded the highway and left all travel lanes impassable near Exit 2. The flooding caused significant backups stretching past the state line and left a number of drivers stranded on the highway.
Video Now: Heavy flooding blocks I-195 West (Story continues below video)
RIDOT workers were seen attempting to drain the water that pooled underneath the Taunton Avenue and the Veterans Memorial Parkway overpasses. RIDOT also sent several maintenance trucks to pump the water off of the highway.
Many trapped drivers stood outside their vehicles and watched as the water slowly started to recede.
Traffic started moving again about two hours after the highway first flooded, and all travel lanes reopened by 5:30 p.m. There were still significant backups, however, due to the evening commute.
RIDOT workers spent several hours clearing the mud and debris that spilled out onto the highway once the traffic from the evening commute died down.
Numerous streets across Southern New England were also waterlogged, making it difficult for cars to pass through. 12 News received reports of street flooding in Providence, East Providence, North Providence and Pawtucket.
Video Now: Firefighters help driver escape floodwaters in Pawtucket (Story continues below video)
Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca said the ground in some areas is hydrophobic due to the extreme drought, causing rainwater to flow into and build up on roadways.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Flash Flood Warning for a portion of Southern New England, though it has since expired.
The torrential downpours dumped several inches of rain on Southern New England. Rehoboth received the most rain, according to the NWS, with 7 inches falling in a three-hour span. East Providence itself saw more than 4 inches of rainfall.
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Here’s a look at some of the flooding that impacted Southern New England: