The remnants of Hurricane Ida caused massive flooding in Connecticut from Wednesday into early Thursday, stranding vehicles in parts of the state and forcing rescues from homes in Plainville.
The first-ever flash flood emergency was issued in Connecticut, put into effect in Fairfield and New Haven counties, as the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved through Connecticut Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
On Thursday morning, Gov. Ned Lamont signed a declaration of civil preparedness emergency in response to the widespread flood damage.
“The filing of this declaration will help provide state and local emergency management officials with the necessary tools to aid the impacted areas in safely recovering from this record-breaking rainfall that we received overnight,” Lamont said in a statement.
The storm dumped several inches of rain in parts of the state, causing major flooding on streets and river levels to rise to dangerous levels.
Some towns saw seven to eight inches of rain since Wednesday morning.
Because of all the rain, many areas across the state have experienced discharges of untreated sewage.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Department of Public Health are urging people not to have direct contact with surface water in areas in close proximity to drainage pipes statewide, particularly in urban areas such as Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury, Middletown, Meriden, Wallingford, Stamford, Norwalk, Norwich, and the greater New Haven area within 48 hours of the end of the rainfall in Connecticut's streams and rivers.
They are also urging people not to swim, fish or use paddlecraft in these areas.
Water levels around the state are very high, so there is a possibility of strong currents and hazardous debris in rivers and streams, DEEP warns, and they are advising anyone who is considering getting on or in rivers and streams to wait until water levels go down.
They urge anyone who is considering water-based recreation in or around moving water to use extreme caution.
Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam and Indian Well State Park in Shelton are closed because of storm damage, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Severe thunderstorm warnings and a tornado watch in southern Connecticut were issued and expired. For the full list of severe weather alerts, click here.
While there were several tornadoes reported in the tri-state area, no tornadoes spun up in Connecticut during the storm.
CT SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND DELAYS FROM IDA
Dozens of schools across Connecticut delayed opening or closed for the day Thursday due to the ongoing flooding issues and damage left by Ida. See the full list here.
In Hamden, the Spring Glen and Ridge Hill Schools are closed Thursday,
Spring Glen is closed due to extensive damage to the electrical system and Ridge Hill School is closed due to excessive flooding.
UConn Stamford is closed because of travel difficulties in the region.
All online classes will be held as scheduled, and employees telecommuting due to COVID-19 should work as normal.
All other UConn campuses are following their normal schedules for classes and work, according to UConn. School officials said the university hasn’t experienced any significant flooding or water damage issues at any of its locations.
TRAVEL WARNINGS AND FLOODED ROADS
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is responding to damage Ida caused on state roads, culverts and bridges, including on Route 63 in Watertown.
In Plainville, 18 people were rescued from homes on Forestville Avenue overnight, according to Plainville emergency management director Ronald Dievert.
Two boats were sent out to get to the homes and rescue the stranded residents, he said.
Several roads in Plainville were impassable, including Northwest Drive, Robert Street Extension, Cronk Road, and Forestville Avenue.
Metro-North suspended service on all lines late Wednesday night due to the severe weather and said it expected service to stay out overnight due to flooding and power outages.
Police in Fairfield County were warning of road closures due to flooding and asking people not to travel unless it is an emergency. They also reminded the public to only dial 911 for emergencies and that they can contact police through the routine numbers for other incidents.
As of midnight, Bridgeport emergency officials were reporting 17 locations with vehicles stranded or submerged by floodwaters, and at least 22 streets flooded.
In Norwalk, multiple streets were closed due to flooding, including Connecticut Avenue (Route 1) between Scribner Avenue and Rampart Road due to flooding. West Norwalk was also closed at West Cedar, Meadow Street at South Main, and Fort Point Street. Follow their Twitter feed for updates.
Fairfield police described scenes of multiple vehicles stuck or submerged on flooded roadways.
From 7 p.m Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, Fairfield Police Department responded to 40 flooding condition calls with approximately 30 vehicles towed due to road conditions, 13 road hazards and two motor vehicle crashes.
They said the 200 block of Euclid Avenue and the 2100 block of Burr Street remain closed until further notice because of downed trees and wires and residents are asked to avoid the areas until the roadways have been cleared.
Up to eight and a half inches of rain fell in Stamford, according to the mayor’s office, and Mayor David Martin issued an emergency declaration.
The mayor’s office said that by 10 a.m., city emergency management officials had responded to 17 motor vehicle crashes, flooded buildings, more than 600 power outages, and 18 water rescues.
In a 10-hour period, the Public Safety and Operations Department recorded more than 1,800 911, many due to Greenwich and Darien’s 911 call centers being down, the mayor’s office said.
Officials in Darien reported flooding and multiple trouble spots Wednesday night.
As of 12:30 p.m., Eversource is reporting 12,000 outages and United Illuminating is reporting just under 600.
The tri-state area has already seen historic rainfall and flooding and the same system is moving through Connecticut.
The heaviest of the rain moved out of the state before dawn on Thursday, but rivers in Connecticut are expected to keep rising through most of the day. The Yantic River in Norwich and the Park River in Hartford both were approaching major flood stage Thursday morning.