In New England, floods are the most common and costly hazard. Most communities experience floods after spring rains, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and winter snow thaws. Floods can develop over a period of days or very rapidly, causing flash floods. All types of flooding can be life-threatening. Rhode Island and Providence are susceptible to flooding because of our coastline, major rivers, and large urbanized areas. This includes river flooding, coastal flooding from Nor’easters and hurricanes, and urban flooding from runoff that cannot be absorbed.
Find out whether your property is in a flood-prone or high-risk area using the Rhode Island Floodplain Viewer.
Additional resources on floodplain mapping are available from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency.
Flooding is also a serious concern during hurricanes and tropical storms. Know if you live in a pre-designated hurricane evacuation zone.
Flood Watches and Warnings
Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch: Flooding or flash flooding in your area is possible. Pay attention to changing weather and flood conditions and be prepared to move to higher ground.
Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or about to occur. Avoid low lying areas and if necessary evacuate.
Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring or about to occur. Seek higher ground immediately.