Tropical Storm Elsa

Tropical Storm Elsa Brings Heavy Rain to CT; Roads Flooded in Areas

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Tropical Storm Elsa moved up the Eastern Seaboard Friday morning, bringing heavy rain and flooding.

Across Connecticut, emergency crews responded to flooded roads and some drivers were stranded in rising waters.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the rain fell at a rate of two inches per hour and several roads were flooded.

In Milford, there was so much water that someone was seen rowing in a backyard that flooded.

Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam sustained storm damage and is closed because of it.

Photos: Tropical Storm Elsa Dumps Rain on CT

Sherwood Island State Park in Westport and Indian Well State Park in Shelton closed due to severe weather.

The National Weather Service in New York has issued a flood warning for the Yantic River.

At 4:45 a.m., the stage of the yantic River was 3.6 feet. Flood stage is nine feet and the river is expected to rise above flood stage this afternoon and fall below flood stage late this afternoon.

Heavy rain is beginning to fall as Tropical Storm Elsa approaches.

The storm will be followed by better weather, including some sunshine, by afternoon.


Tropical storm warnings were issued for New London County and parts of southern Middlesex and New Haven counties.

River flood warnings are in effect for Fairfield and New Haven counties, a flood warning is in effect for New London County.

Areal flood warnings are in effect for Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Tolland counties until 7 p.m. and Windham County until 9 p.m.

Flash flood watches were posted for Northern Litchfield, Southern New London and Southern New Haven counties.


Several power outages have been reported. As of 1 p.m., Eversource is reporting 7,600 power outages and United Illuminating is reporting around 1,600.

Ahead of the storm, Eversource declared what it called a level four emergency.

“We have declared what’s called a Level 4 emergency response plan which means we will have somewhere between 290 and 500 line crews available at the onset of the storm, plus you add the tree crews and the hundreds of people that support in support roles behind the scenes," Eversource spokesperson Mitch Gross said.

When Tropical Storm Isaias struck last summer, power was knocked out to hundreds of thousands of homes across the state and many residents were still waiting for power a week later.

Several storms have struck Connecticut this week and Eversource said Thursday morning they are ready for this one and have crews in place.

“Throughout this week’s destructive thunderstorms we’ve restored power to 80,000 customers and at the same time, we’ve also been watching multiple forecasts to track and prepare for Tropical Storm Elsa," Eversource Electric Operations President Craig Hallstrom said in a statement.

"We have hundreds of crews – including out-of-state crews that continue to arrive – ready to respond to any damage or outages this storm may cause," he said. 

Hallstrom said the company was prepositioning crews and equipment and will adjust the approach if necessary.

"Trees are the number one cause of outages and winds of 35-45 mph are expected with this storm and will bring down limbs and branches onto electric lines so we encourage our customers to be prepared for outages as well. We can’t control the weather and amount of damage the system will take, but we’re ready to respond as soon as we see an impact,” Hallstrom said. 

United Illuminating also brought crews in ahead of the storm, including extra line workers and tree crews.

"UI's crews have been constantly prepared throughout this week as scattered, but severe, storms have passed through the region daily. In preparation for Elsa, UI has secured contractor support to nearly double the size of its line workforce who will be arriving by noon today," the company said in a statement Friday.

Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order that will allow utility trucks to drive on the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways if needed for the response. The waiver is in effect from 8 a.m. on Friday, July 9 through 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 15.


New Haven Public Schools proactively canceled all summer programs for Friday and planning closed all school buildings. Several other districts also canceled programs for Friday.


There were issues on the roads, including some significant flooding.

The Block Island Ferry canceled all trips on Friday. Those with reservations can call 860-783-7996 to reschedule.

Metro-North did not have planned service changes but warned that the storm could cause delays and encouraged riders to check schedules before they leave.

Officials warned drivers to be careful on the roads and look out for low-lying areas that may flood. State police warn that you should never drive through standing water, even if it does not seem deep. AAA warns that they see more accidents in rainy weather than snow.


If roads are covered in water, turn around instead of walking or driving through floodwater.

The National Weather Service warns to never drive around the barriers blocking a flooded road. The road might have collapsed under that water. 

Only six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult, it takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and just two feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks.

Have a plan for handling a power outage. Charge cell phones, have flashlights ready, have extra ice for refrigerators, fuel generators or determine where you might go if you lose power for an extended period of time.

Eversource warns to stay as far away as possible from fallen tree limbs and electrical wires, as well as anything they are touching - such as puddles and metal fences. Assume all downed wires are “live” and stay away.

If you’re in a vehicle and downed wires are on the car or across the road, stay in your car until emergency crews arrive to handle the energized wires.

Don't drive over downed lines, and if a downed line is in or near water, keep your distance from the water, even a little puddle.

West Hartford police urge residents to reserve the use of 911 for emergencies.

You can get the latest forecast anytime here.

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