2007-04-19 / Front Page

Storm causes seawall to collapse; closes Beavertail Road

By Dotti Farrington

Tough going in storm's wake Cars attempted to cross the road at Mackerel Cove Monday morning despite its being strewn with debris from the overnight storm. Photo by Vic Richardson Tough going in storm's wake Cars attempted to cross the road at Mackerel Cove Monday morning despite its being strewn with debris from the overnight storm. Photo by Vic Richardson Police Chief Thomas Tighe and Public Works Director Steven Goslee gave emergency reports on storm damage at a meeting Monday of the Town Council sitting as the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners. The Nor'easter began Sunday afternoon and continued late into Monday with pounding winds and more than three-inches of rain, recorded at the Water Treatment Plant on North Main Road.

The greatest damage occurred late Monday afternoon on Conanicus Avenue at the Emerson Lane entrance to Shoreby Hill where part of the seawall and road were washed away. The road had been closed earlier that day because of pounding waves and astronomically high tides.

Tighe said state-hired workers were at the seawall late Monday and planned to return with heavy equipment Tuesday and thereafter to do emergency repairs to the road and seawall that are part of the state road system. Traffic was rerouted through Shoreby Hill via Bryer and Mount Hope avenues.

Goslee reported that the town's sewer treatment plant held during the rainfall Sunday and Monday, but two other sewer mains malfunctioned: on Conanicus Avenue at Knowles Court, dumping about 16,000 gallons of wastewater into Narragansett Bay at East Ferry; and at the Dumplings, south of East Ferry, where about 14,000 gallons of wastewater went into the bay.

State Department of Environmental Management workers closed the area to shellfishing.

Tighe and Goslee said the greatest wind impact apparently occurred Monday between 2 and 3 a.m. when several trees were felled, closing North Main Road for several hours. Power lines down on North Main Road and on Plymouth Road caused a 12-hour power outage for some island residents. Beavertail Road at Mackerel Cove also was closed for several hours because of waves and great amounts of ocean debris that had washed ashore.

They said fire equipment was stationed at the North End in case of need, and Public Works was on standby with heavy equipment to help emergency equipment get through the cove area to Beavertail if needed.

They reported no emergencies as of late Monday at the North End and at Beavertail.

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