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Flooding closes streets, strands drivers in Rhode Island with more rain to come

More rain was forecast for Wednesday after heavy downpours inundated parts of Rhode Island, flooding streets and collapsing an unoccupied building. 

A flood warning remained in effect for Rhode Island early Tuesday as another 1 to 2 inches of rain was expected, according to the National Weather Service. Several streets and highways in and around Providence flooded as rain continued Monday night.

Cranston, a city just south of Providence, was hit the heaviest with about 10.8 inches of rain over 24 hours, the National Weather Service reported Tuesday. Rhode Island followed closely behind with 8.3 inches of rainfall.

Drivers were stuck in traffic for more than two hours along I-95 before the interstate reopened in both directions Monday. About 600 households reported power outages, and an unoccupied building collapsed Monday in Providence, police said. There were no injuries.

GEORGIA, INDIANA FLOODING:Weekend severe weather causes 'rare' rainfall in Georgia, deadly flash flood in Indiana

More rain coming

At a Monday news conference, Gov. Daniel McKee warned more rain was coming after over four inches of rain fell over Providence and surrounding areas in a short amount of time.

Steady rain is in the forecast into Wednesday. 

"The most important thing that Rhode Islanders can do in any form of emergency is stay off the roads," McKee said. "... I know it may seem like the storm has slowed down but we're expecting there may be another surge."

Overwhelmed infrastructure

Peter Alviti, director of Rhode Island Department of Transportation, blamed highway closures on overwhelmed drainage systems.

"It was simply that the rain came down at an intensity that exceeded its capacity to accept it," Alviti said Monday, adding that crews had been taking precautions and checking for blockages in the drainage system before the storm.

Flooding concerns 'diminished' in Georgia

Flooding concerns have "diminished" in Georgia, where torrential downpours brought up to 12 inches of rain to some areas of the state over Labor Day weekend, according to the National Weather Service in Atlanta. The flooding knocked out water service to parts of Chattooga County on Monday, prompted water rescues using kayaks, and led Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to declare a state of emergency in Chattooga and Floyd Counties on Monday.

The Chattooga County School System announced schools would remain closed until Wednesday due to flooding.

Contributing: The Associated Press. 

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

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