Friday, August 6, 2010

Hometown Flood: You'll Laugh, You'll Cry, You'll Cringe, You'll Cheer

All Rhode Islanders were affected in some way by the floods in March 2010. On Saturday, August 14 at 7 P.M. and Sunday, August 15 at 11 P.M., WSBE Rhode Island PBS airs Hometown Flood, a compelling story that puts local faces on what became national news.

When the rains came and the power went out, Chris Walsh’s camera went on - not because the Westerly filmmaker intended to make a documentary, but because Chris had always been interested in weather and… frankly, there was not much else to do at the time.

Chris had no way of knowing at the time that events unfolding under the watchful eye of his camera lens would make history. And that he would be one to capture it.

As Chris filmed various neighborhood locations – transformed into unfamiliar waterscapes – he talked to people and they opened up to him. One man openly wept as he surveyed his loss. It was at that powerful moment that Chris decided he had to make the documentary, to tell these stories.

Walsh talked to people in Westerly, Bradford, and Ashaway, Rhode Island, and people in neighborhoods across the bridge in Stonington, Connecticut. He also spoke with a meteorologist from the National Weather Service and Rhode Island meteorologist and reporter R.J. Heim, to get a comprehensive view of what was happening. Three months later, long after the flood waters receded, Chris revisited the same neighborhoods.

Hometown Flood is the video diary of those conversations. A film born of an interest in weather became a lasting, poignant chronicle of a history-making moment in Rhode Island, and a testament to the grit and resilience of Rhode Islanders.


Hometown Flood is presented as part of the Rhode Island Stories, an ongoing Rhode Island PBS original series presenting films created by independent producers that tell stories about or by Rhode Island’s people, events, and locations. Rhode Island Stories airs Saturdays at 7 P.M. and Sundays at 11 P.M. on WSBE Rhode Island PBS.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits over the air on digital 36.1; Cox/Verizon/Full Channel 08; DirecTV 36; Dish Network 7776; ComCast subscribers, please check local listings for the channel number in your area. Viewers with high definition (HD) capability can receive WSBE Rhode Island PBS HD programming over the air on digital 36.1, Cox 708, Verizon 508, ComCast 819.