PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Firefighters rescued more than two dozen people stranded along Branch Avenue after the West River overflowed its banks Monday evening due to heavy rainfall.

Deputy Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Jutras tells 12 News firefighters rushed to a shopping plaza near the Route 146 South on-ramp upon receiving reports of numerous people trapped in their vehicles.

Jutras said firefighters arrived to not only find people trapped in their cars, but also employees and customers stuck inside flooded businesses throughout the plaza.

Firefighters donning wet suits crossed the floodwaters using inflatable rafts and brought those who were stranded to higher ground. In total, Jutras said 25 people were rescued. No one was injured.

Even though the rain has stopped, Jutras said the West River has continued to overflow onto Branch Avenue. He estimates that the water is at least 4 feet high in some spots.

The National Weather Service extended its Flood Warning for Providence County through 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Branch Avenue from Langdon Street to Vandewater Street has been shut down, and Jutras said it will “take some time” before the water recedes.

Jutras said the Route 146 North and South ramps on Branch Avenue will also remain closed until the flooding has subsided.

Branch Avenue wasn’t the only roadway rendered impassable by heavy rainfall Monday. Atwood Avenue near Johnston Plaza flooded and left several drivers trapped in their vehicles.

12 News spotted a number of vehicles submerged up to their door handles and watched as firefighters trudged through the water in search of stranded drivers.

Flash flooding was also reported in Cranston, North Providence and Cumberland.

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