I’ve been really remiss on posting about this before, but the state of Rhode Island was nearly sunk by heavy rainfall this week. The rain has finally stopped and the floodwaters are starting to recede, but Lil’ Rhody will have a long way to go to recover. However, the water rose high enough to cover several sewage treatment plants, which could spell disaster for the both the beach season and the state’s fisheries, two of the main economic drivers in a state that was second only to Michigan in being hit the hardest by the economic downturn. Shellfishing has been shut down north of Black and Sakonnet Points; for those unfamiliar with Rhode Island geography that shuts out pretty much the entire Narragansett Bay. Rhode Islanders can probably look forward to serious water quality problems for years to come.
To say that Rhode Island has figured prominently in my life would be a massive understatement. I learned to love the ocean by playing in its tide pools as a kid, went to URI as an undergrad, and even worked for the Rhode Island DEM for a time. Numerous pictures of the damage are floating around on the internet, most of places that I used to either frequent or drive by on an almost-daily basis. So far I haven’t been able to find anywhere to donate to help out, so if anyone finds something along those lines let me know so I can post it here.