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January 11, 2008
Heavy rain, lightning today and Sunday maybe snow
Thunder and lightning moved through Rhode Island this morning, bringing an unseasonably warm and sunny week to a dramatic, if soggy, end, and damaging at least one house.
The National Weather Service issued advisories this morning, announcing that powerful thunderstorms were moving through the region, capable of producing wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph. and causing flooding in areas with poor drainage.
Rain was expected to fall at about three-quarters of an inch per hour at some points, bringing 1.5 inches of rain to some areas by late morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Lightning was visible for many people commuting to work this morning, and it flashed across the sky in downtown Providence several times. A house in Johnston was damaged this morning when it was struck, according to its owner.
Journal photo/ Andrew Dickerman
Siding near an outdoor faucet were blown away in the lightning strike
Frank Romano says his wife and two young children were inside the two-story house at 161 Bishop Hill Road when it was struck. They were not injured. They heard a loud explosion and the house shook, according to Romano.
The house lost electrical power but did not catch fire as far as Romano can determine. Romano brought a photographer around the house and showed sections, such as near outside faucets, downspouts and an electrical meter, where vinyl siding had been blown off. A basement window was blown out.
He also pointed out two holes in the ground about 15 feet from the building. He believes the holes were caused by lightning.
This week's unseasonable weather could very wintry by Sunday.
A "significant winter storm" could hit the area Sunday night into Monday, the weather service says. Although the forecast is uncertain, the weather service says the storm could affect the Monday morning commute covering roads with snow and reducing visibility.
-- With reports by Journal photographer Andrew Dickerman and projo.com staff writer Brandie Jefferson
Posted by Jack Perry at 11:47 AM | Permalink
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