Dozens of Cranston Residents Left Stranded After Labor Day Flood

Sep 3, 2013

The American Red Cross is scrambling to find housing for residents of two Cranston apartment buildings that were overwhelmed by flash floods Monday.   Some of the 60 affected residents lost everything.

Residents of Dean Estates in Cranston wait to get back into their flooded apartments.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Julie England rents a basement apartment in Dean Estates.  She said the water started pouring into her unit Sunday afternoon during heavy rains. “It started coming up out of the toilets, through the baseboards, everything,” said England. “Through the windows, through my closets, everywhere. It was literally like a boat sinking but it was a house. And I lost everything. I don’t have renter’s insurance. I have nothing but the clothes on my back which aren’t even mine.”

England and about 60 others were displaced following a quick downpour that swamped a low-lying area of Cranston.  Donna Rotella estimates there were four or five feet of water in her apartment.

“I lost everything, everything. I lost baby pictures of my children and grandchildren, furniture, all my furniture,” said Rotella.

As residents waited to get back into their apartments, rumors flew that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was on its way to help. But Carlos Lopez, a spokesman for Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, said FEMA is not coming because the flooding does not approach the scale of a federal disaster. 

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