Wild weather: Sinkholes and waterspouts

by Michael Mosher on August 16, 2012

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From Newport to Providence and everywhere in between, Wednesday got off to a wild start.

“Coming over the top of the bridge, I believe my truck was hit by lightning,” said Harry Chase of Chase Farms in Portsmouth. “I’m happy to be alive.”

Chase was delivering a load of chrysanthemums at the time, driving over the Jamestown Bridge, where heavy flooding temporarily shut down the road.

He’s safe, but his truck didn’t fare as well.

The “truck totally lost power,” Chase said. “Scary weather. Very scary weather.”

In one Warwick neighborhood, too much water that came too fast caused another big problem.

A sinkhole on Sunny Side Drive was so big that it swallowed a Toyota Corolla with the driver and her son still inside.

Neighbors said the family was unharmed. But crews spent the entire day cleaning up the mess and filling in the giant hole.

The city said the sinkhole was actually caused by a water main break, but the heavy rain made it harder for repair crews.

“When the water was rushing down, it looked like rapids, like there was some big huge river around here,” said Tammy Joyce of East Providence.

Joyce and her family were dealing flooding once again.

Their basement started to fill up during Friday’s rain, and got even worse on Wednesday with several feet of water trapped inside.

She lost some precious family photos to the rising water and filed a complaint with the city, asking why drains on the street weren’t checked.

“I’ve just never, ever seen it that bad. I cried at one point,” Joyce said. “You don’t think of something happening like that in a city environment. You don’t think of having these big huge floods in a city environment.”

A waterspout was spotted over Narragansett Bay from Quonset Point.

Full article…here

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