Rhode Islanders Feel Effects of Boston Lockdown

Apr 19, 2013

A massive search for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is shutting down Boston and affecting many Rhode Island residents, especially those who commute to Massachusetts. 

Corner of Cambridge and Tremont Streets in Cambridge, MA
Credit Bradley Campbell / RIPR
Boston's Brookline Avenue is deserted Friday morning, looking toward Fenway Park.
Credit Chris Barnett

Tiverton resident Jan Bergandy works at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where authorities are seeking information about a suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombings, who was registered at the school. The campus has been evacuated.

Jan Bergandy heads up the computer science department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He was on campus preparing for a meeting when he got word from university officials they were shutting down campus. Bergandy said shortly later, he was told to evacuate.

“First the university was closed,” Bergandy said as he drove home from campus, “and then the second message we got is that the university was evacuated. And at that time we all left campus and beyond that point I cannot tell you anything more”

Bergandy describes the entire incident as unsettling but says he knows very little about what is going on. The university is communicating with faculty and students via email and cell phones and posting updates on its website.

A Rhode Island Public Radio reporter is among the Boston area residents hunkered down indoors  as Boston police try to apprehend a second suspect in the attack on the Boston Marathon. 

Media staked out near Cambridge and Tremont Streets in Cambridge, MA
Credit Bradley Campbell / RIPR

Rhode Island Public Radio's Bradley Campbell is visiting friends in Cambridge and said he’s in a house about two blocks from the location surrounded by police in neighboring Watertown. He said people inside the house are monitoring social media for the latest developments. Campbell said the streets outside are desolate.

"What’s usually a really busy area of pedestrians, walkers, people with their dogs out, cyclists, college kids going between MIT and Harvard, everyone’s just inside,” Campbell said. “No one’s really out.”

Campbell says he heard a constant stream of police and ambulance sirens overnight. He says he has no idea when he'll be able to go outdoors.

Media and residents look on as police surround house where suspects are believed to have lived.
Credit Bradley Campbell / RIPR

Meanwhile, people looking to ride a train from Providence to Boston are stuck at the Providence Amtrak station.

Train service to Boston has been suspended all morning, as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority shut down all public transit systems. Amtrak has also shut down service between Boston and Providence.

Passengers face delays at the Providence Amtrak station.
Credit Natalie Jablonski/RIPR

David and Sharon Goldstein were headed the other direction, south to Maryland, but delays forced them to wait for more than four hours after arriving at the Providence train station early this morning.  David Goldstein remained hopeful they would get to their destination.

“They’re gonna bring those trains that are coming up from the south,” Goldstein said. “They’re gonna put people on and head back south again, they’re not going to go to Boston.  Which is good, I think that’s a great idea.” 

Delays are still affecting Southbound travel.