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Flash flooding inundates RI apartment complex

September 3, 2013

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — A flash flood inundated a Rhode Island apartment complex and left waist-high water on the ground floor, forcing dozens of people from their homes.

About 60 people were displaced Monday afternoon following a quick downpour that swamped a low-lying area in Cranston, just south of Providence, fire officials said. About half had to be rescued by boat.

Fire officials said the water was rising so quickly in the Dean Estates apartment complex that they moved ground-floor residents to the second floor before taking them to safety.

An East Providence firefighter suffered an injury, possibly to his knee, after the ground washed out behind one building, according to Cranston Fire Chief William McKenna. Police and firefighters also had to wade through deep water to help stranded drivers.

McKenna said Tuesday no one is being allowed back inside the flooded buildings until structural and electrical damage is assessed.

The Red Cross said it was providing assistance to 35 adults and 15 children who were displaced. The owner of the buildings was able to house some residents temporarily and others were being put up in a hotel, spokesman Paul Shipman said Tuesday.

“They all needed a range of assistance that included help with food replacement, clothing replacement and temporary housing,” Shipman said.

Nearly 3½ inches of rain fell in Cranston on Monday, the National Weather Service reported.

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