Apr 2, 2010 8:39 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Flooding disaster is latest blow for hard-luck RI

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is planning to tour flood-ravaged Rhode Island Friday.

Her visit comes amid calls by state officials for emergency federal aid.

The state suffered through a round of epic rainfall that has touched off the worst flooding in 200 years and closed shopping malls, small businesses and mills. For a hard-luck state with nearly 13 percent of its residents unemployed, the aftermath of the storm has added more woes.

Many people are concerned about losing their livelihood. While damage estimates can't be made until the floodwaters recede, Gov. Don Carcieri fears they could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama called Gov. Don Carcieri to discuss the devastation during the president's trip to New England. Obama has declared a major disaster in all but one Rhode Island county.


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