Beaches have opened and warm weather is upon us, which can mean only one thing for the Ocean State, tourist season has begun. State officials are expecting increases in revenue compared to last year. Summer arrived later than usual last year, and Rhode Island saw just an average tourist season. But this year thermometers have already been pushing 80 degrees.
Director of tourism for Commerce RI, Mark Brodeur said early beach openings, and events like the Volvo Ocean sailing race in Newport are giving the season a strong start.
Tropical Storm Bertha continues to move up the Atlantic.
The closest the storm will come to Rhode Island is about 300 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. The storm has been steadily decaying in power, and not expected to dump too much rain on the state. (Though thunderstorms have been predicted for this week. The National Weather Service has issued an advisory.)
National Weather Service spokesperson Bill Simpson says it’s still expected to have an impact on Rhode Island waves.
Rhode Island is receiving more federal funding to continue cleanup efforts started after Superstorm Sandy. The money will also be used to prepare the state for future storms and the effects climate change.
Residents and businesses in the North Kingstown area are invited to a free public meeting regarding the impacts of climate change, rising tides, and flooding in the coastal communities of Rhode Island.