Update on City of Providence's Response to Severe Storm



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Citizens also reminded to take safety measures during today’s extreme heat.


City officials are reporting significant damage to areas in Providence affected by thunderstorms and high velocity winds early Thursday morning. Mayor Angel Taveras had the opportunity this morning to survey the affected areas with Commissioner of Public Safety Steven Pare and Providence Emergency Management Agency Director Peter Gaynor.

“Given the damage, it is a miracle that no one was seriously injured,” said Mayor Taveras, who toured affected areas this morning. “Crews are on the scene working to make sure our streets are safe from any hazardous situations caused by this storm.  It's going to take a sustained effort to restore the neighborhoods affected and I will continue to personally monitor the situation over the days and weeks to come."

Throughout the day, the Providence Emergency Management Agency, led by Colonel Peter Gaynor, has been providing the administration with up-to-the-minute reports on damage and storm response.  City officials have also been in close contact with State leadership. 

Thirteen municipal crews have been deployed as part of the City’s emergency response. Citizens are urged to stay away from fallen trees and downed power lines. Avoid damaged areas when commuting. Please also call the Office of Neighborhood Services at 421-2489 if you need assistance recovering from the storm. As always, in the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

As of 10:00AM Thursday, the Fire Department, Department of Public Works and the Parks Department’s Forestry Division crews had responded to 150 calls for service for downed trees and wires. No serious injuries have been reported. One minor injury was reported due to flying glass from hail breaking through a window. Two people were rescued from the roofs of their cars due to flooding. Several buildings suffered wind damage although no major fires or serious incidents were reported during the storm.

Crews from DPW and Parks are on the scene removing trees and hazardous debris. Contract tree crews are also being recalled to work on removing fallen trees.

Officials are advising residents of the following safety precautions:

  • Do not place trees in the roadway or on sidewalks today. Keep them on your property until access issues are rectified. The City will pick them up in a few days.
  • The City is only removing trees on public property and priorities for removal are trees on:
    1. down wires
    2. roads
    3. driveways
  • Property owners who are removing trees and debris from private property are advised to check references and make sure that they select a contractor who is licensed and bonded.

For trees that are not posing a safety hazard, contact the Parks Department Forestry Division at 785-9450.

National Grid is working to restore power to the over 5,000 customers affected by the storm. Most customers are expected to have power back by this morning, but some could go without power for longer. If power outages occur, contact National Grid at 1-800-322-3223. Do not touch any downed utility lines and report them to the Fire Department at 274-3344.

The City has organized volunteers to provide extra staff and support at the West End Community Center for residents who have been temporarily displaced from their homes by the storm. The center is located at 109 Bucklin Street.

Providence Public Schools announced a 1-hour delay for most schools except for four that were heavily affected by the power outages: Fortes Elementary School, Lima Elementary School, the Fortes-Lima Complex and Webster Elementary School.


“Given the damage, it is a miracle that no one was seriously injured,” said Mayor Taveras, who toured affected areas this morning. “

No Mr. Mayor. it wasn't a miracle. It was a lot of hard work dome by the Providence Police and Firefighters.



  • Jason says:

    Great job as always and the police were out in full force all night as well we had 196 calls for service between 2 and 3 am alone and you’re right not a miracle just another night

  • Old Jake says:

    Hey!  Thank You very much for your editorial in the Journal on Friday 10 June 2011.  It was heartfelt and it was a stark reminder of what happens when you least expect it.  Leaving the job does not make the visions or the pain go away.  You never forget.  The images are only dimmed by time.  If I had some witty words or some clever phrase to tell you its not your time I would use it here.  I can't.  I will say that you will know when its your time to go.  It need not be some huge tragedy but it could be something rather small and insignificant but you will KNOW!  I would recommend that you take some time off.  Think of what you are, what you do and how that affects others.  Are you a positive influence on those around you.  You have the HUGE capacity to care and share your knowledge with others.  Always remember that you must be true to you.  In whatever you do.  Care for you first it makes caring for others so much easier.  Just take care and be safe and remember, although I am about 10 years older than you, I think I can still kick some sense into you!!!!  You can offer so much more.

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