Stratford firefighters had to rescued two drivers when a combination of heavy rain and high tide caused roads to flood, according to fire officials.
Stratford Fire Assistant Chief Doug Reitmeyer said crews responded to two separate locations Tuesday morning. Just before 6 a.m. firefighters responded to rescue a man with a disability whose car was stuck under a railroad underpass on Bruce Avenue. At the same time firefighters were called to Surf Avenue underpass under Interstate 95 to rescue a woman.
“As we were arriving to these underpasses to check them, cars were driving right into the water and some of them were getting stuck,” Reitmeyer said.
Firefighters donned wetsuits and rescued both drivers from their cars. The vehicles were towed.
Jairo Rojas, whose wife was the driver rescued on Surf Avenue, said she underestimated the water’s depth.
“The place is a little dark…it has not enough light, so she didn’t saw how deep it was,” he said.
“She was afraid to get out because it was deep - about two feet of water,” Rojas added.
Rojas said the family’s car, which they’ve only had for six months, now won’t start.
Stratford police remind the public to never drive into standing water, even if it doesn’t seem deep.
“Some of our underpasses have flashing lights and signs to avoid the flooded roadway and people still go through them. People really should be looking for an alternate route,” Reitmeyer said.
Rojas said his family has learned their lesson and echoed that sentiment.
“Don’t drive on. Just stay away. Go somewhere else. Take a different way, but don’t do this,” he said.
Stratford police said flooding is not uncommon during heavy rain and they saw it in what they consider typical spots Tuesday morning amid heavy rains and high tide.
There were some road closures, including the exit 30 off ramp on I-95 South. It has since reopened.