UPDATED STORY (4:10 P.M.)
Emergency officials were kept busy Monday night and Tuesday morning during a series of powerful storms that caused flash flooding and numerous power outages in the greater Westerly area.
The storms proved most damaging in Westerly, where heavy rain flooded roads and brought down wires. Videos shared near Atlantic Avenue showed flooding of Atlantic Avenue and other shoreline roads, and one of the videos from Tuesday morning showed a kayaker paddling on Breach Drive.
"Our biggest issues last night were flood alarms or smoke detectors set off by outages," Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said. He added that a larger outage Tuesday morning affected a stretch of Route 1 from Airport Road and Route 78 to Dunns Corner-Bradford Road.
Officers were at both intersections for several hours during the height of the morning commute, working in the rain to keep traffic moving. Parts of the area received over 3 inches of rain.
"This morning the traffic light at Franklin and 78 was not functioning. There was an officer, in the pouring rain, doing one heck of a job direction traffic, well beyond the call of duty," Westerly resident Larry Cioppa said in a post on the Westerly Concerned Citizens Facebook page.
According to National Grid, there were more than 40 points of disruption in the system overall in either Westerly or Charlestown on Tuesday morning. An estimated 2,300 customers in Westerly were without power at 11:30 a.m. All service was restored by 1 p.m., the company reported.
Lacey said that by early Tuesday afternoon much of the flooding had subsided as well, but by that time the impact had been felt. On Monday night, officers assisted in towing six cars that became disabled after motorists tried to drive through deep puddles. Several business, including Walmart, were forced to close briefly Tuesday as a result of the electrical outages.
Westerly fire officials said firefighters received multiple box alarms both days and also responded to a reported lightning strike in the area of the Franklin Street plaza on Monday night. Westerly Fire Chief John Mackay said there was no evidence of smoke or fire, but the entire plaza went dark when a primary power line fell. The line was repaired later Monday night, he said
In Charlestown, police and volunteers with the Dunn's Corners and Charlestown fire departments responded to arcing wires at the intersection of Old Post Road and Ross Hill Road around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, causing a number of outages in that community. The fallen wires caused a small brush fire that was quickly extinguished, Charlestown Police Chief Michael Paliotta confirmed.
National Grid reported that at its peak, morning storm affected roughly 300 customers in Charlestown, but services were restored to all but one home by 1 p.m.
No power failures were reported in Hopkinton or Richmond on Tuesday.
Across state lines, the storm seemed to have a stronger impact Monday night than it did Tuesday. Stonington dispatchers said the evening storm caused only minor flooding and reported only a few outages on Monday night. As of Tuesday morning, power was restored and Eversource reported that the morning storms did not affect any customers in Stonington or North Stonington.
North Stonington fire officials reported several lightning strikes, including one that caused a basement fire at a Polly Avenue home.
The fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported, officials said, but the damage left residents temporarily displaced.
Elsewhere in Connecticut, major flooding Monday night caused Tweed-New Haven Airport to cancel flights for almost 24 hours through Tuesday afternoon.
In Wallingford, a dormitory at Choate Rosemary Hall caught fire after a lightning struck, forcing students to evacuate and shelter at an athletic center. No injuries were reported.
ORIGINAL STORY (11:45 a.m.)
A series of powerful storms Monday night and Tuesday morning led to some flash flooding and numerous power failures in the greater Westerly area.
Residents of Westerly residents were the most affected, with heavy rain causing most of the problems. According to National Grid, as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday there were an estimated 40 points without power, stretching from Franklin Street to the Charlestown town line.
Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the biggest problems were "flood alarms or smoke detector issues in houses because the power went out last night. The power is currently out between Airport Road Dunn's Corners, so we are managing the traffic lights."
Several business, including Walmart, were hit by the storm, with customers reporting that they had been evacuated briefly when the power went out.
Power was restored to some customers before noon and those still without electricity were expected to see their services returned by 1:30 p.m.
Lacey said that by late Tuesday morning much of the flooding had subsided. On Monday night, the police assisted in towing six cars that got stuck after trying to drive through deep puddles.
Along Breach Drive, residents also shared a video showing the flooding, with a kayaker paddling along the edge of the road.
In Charlestown, police and volunteers with the Dunn's Corners and Charlestown fire departments responded to arcing wires at the intersection of Old Post Road and Ross Hill Road around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The fallen wires caused a small brush fire that was quickly extinguished.
National Grid reported that at its peak, the morning storm damage affected roughly 300 customers in Charlestown.
No outages were reported in Hopkinton or Richmond. Eversource also reported no outages in Stonington or North Stonington as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Officials in those town said there was some flash flooding as a result of the heavy rain, but the impact was limited.