Rhode Island Hurricane Barrier Gets High Marks

October 31, 2012

Rhode Island officials say Providence’s hurricane barrier performed well as high tides added to problems created by the pounding by Superstorm Sandy.

John McPhearson of the Army Corps of Engineers told WPRO that the barrier performed “flawlessly,” holding back the morning and evening tides.

Technical Sgt. Arthur Des Lauriers, a spokesman for the Rhode Island Emergenecy Management Agency, told the Providence Journal that the barrier worked as designed.

About 90 minutes before the height of the surge on Monday night, a drizzle intensified to a heavy rain, with the water pressing against the barrier, rising about a foot an hour.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Monday the storm could be the biggest test yet for the barrier, which was built in the 1960s to protect downtown Providence after hurricanes in 1938 and 1954 flooded the city.

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