Pawtuxet River flood concerns a familiar scene for Warwick Mall

By: Melissa Toupin


The images of the Warwick Mall submerged under several feet of water are hard to forget. The Pawtuxet River spilling over into the parking lot during the historic 2010 flood.

The mall was closed for 144 days while crews worked to restore the shopping center. All the recent rain brings many back those days. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian doesn't expect a repeat of three years ago, but says if the water does invade the area building are better prepared this time around.

“Should there be a problem the electrical system has back up. The generators have back up. The computer systems all have back up. So, we have built in redundancies throughout the system so should we face that kind of problem again it would not be nearly as catastrophic,” said Avedisian.

The malls owners are not expecting that water from the Pawtuxet will make it close to their doors this time around, but in the event of flood waters from this storm, or any storm, start creeping towards the mall they have dozens of sandbags ready to go. Hundreds more are on their way, coincidently part of preparations already underway by mall.

“We are gathering the materials. Sand and this and that. We've already done the bulk of it and as of yesterday we ordered more material,”said Aram Garabedian of the Warwick Mall.

The mall is still at risk to flooding. More permanent solutions are still in the study phase. The privately owned mall estimates they've spent upwards of $70,000 working with engineers to make sure destruction like what they saw in 2010 never happens again, but they say it takes time to make that happen.