The lieutenant governor is asking residents to stay off roads in the southern part of the state unless it is absolutely necessary to be on them. Earlier in the day, Gov. M. Jodi Rell activated 150 Connecticut National Guard troops to help eastern Connecticut with flood control as heavy rain continues to cause streams and rivers to overflow.
Roads, particularly in the eastern part of the state, were closed as high water made them impassible. After dark, it will harder for drivers to see spots where the roads may be flooded, Fedele said.
Some of the worst flooding is occurring along the Yantic River in Norwich, which is currently over 13 feet and the river begins flooding at about 9 feet, he said.
A two-lane bridge on Route 184 over Whitford's Brook on the Groton-Stonington town line collapsed in the heavy rain and flooding. Route 184 was closed earlier in the day, so there was no traffic on the bridge at the time. Concrete barriers are being put up and a detour is in place.
Flood waters forced the mandatory evacuation of three apartment buildings in the Pawcatuck section of Stonington. The buildings on West Broad Street need to be inspected by the DOT Wednesday before residents are allowed back. 20 to 30 people are being housed in area shelters.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell directed the state Department of Public Safety to reassign all available troopers in the field and from headquarters to eastern Connecticut to help with road closures and other emergencies.
The state remains in a state of emergency since Rell put one in place after the March 13-14 nor’easter. Both Stonington and Norwich have declared states of emergency.
Storms forced Stonington to evacuate the “Birdland” section as a precaution because of a high water level. Montville and Griswold also evacuated residents.
“The relentless rain has created extremely dangerous situations, especially in eastern Connecticut. The Yantic River is expected to reach record flood levels and we are closely monitoring that situation,” Rell said. “National Guard troops and state police will help local officials with sandbagging and will be at the ready to assist with evacuations should they be necessary.
The governor expects the problems to continue until rains stop and water recedes.
Rell has asked the National Guard to begin moving water rescue equipment to southeastern Connecticut and she has put the state’s Urban Search and Rescue Team on standby.
Coast Guard rescue helicopter will be stationed near the greater Norwich area in case air rescue from swollen rivers is necessary.
The Connecticut State Police’s Trooper One helicopter is also standing by. The Governor also ordered that all state-owned boats and vessel operators be mobilized to assist with any evacuations.
The state has a stockpile of 180,000 sandbags and directed the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to secure 300,000 more today.
The state’s Emergency Operations Center at the O’Neill Armory in Hartford opened at 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning and will remain open indefinitely.