Berlin largely spared by tropical storm

Tropical Storm Elsa carved a destructive and soaking path up the East Coast last week after killing at least one person in Florida and spinning up a tornado at a Georgia Navy base that flipped recreational vehicles upside-down and blew one of them into a lake.

Elsa moved through Connecticut Friday, July 9 closing streets, flooding basements and damaging cars.

Berlin saw 2.26 inches of rainfall.

A press release from the Berlin Fire Department issued Friday states: “Beginning at 09:39 this morning the Town of Berlin's four fire companies responded to multiple calls for assistance related to the effects of Tropical Storm Elsa. Over the course of four hours and 31 minutes, 23 personnel responded to 18 incidents at 17 locations throughout town, the last clearing at 14:10. There were no reported injuries during this period, although one family was displaced due to flooding … We would like to thank our dispatchers, who provided constant support throughout the event, as well as the Berlin PD and municipal departments, who consistently monitored road conditions and closed flooded areas as needed.”

Nearby, some of the heaviest flooding in 30 years hit downtown Meriden. At its worst the storm almost flooded the Police Department on West Main Street and left up to 2½ feet of water submerging blocks-long sections of Hanover, Pratt and State streets as Hanover Brook overflowed.

The floodwaters also took the Quinnipiac River over its banks near Route 15 and the Quinnipiac Street bridge in Wallingford.

Bill Gannon, a dispatcher with Nelcon Towing, which has garages in Meriden, Middletown, Plainville and Southington, said he expected that his company would be working through most of Friday night towing vehicles.

For Nelcon, Meriden had the most cars damaged by flooding, Gannon said. “There is no real light at the end of the tunnel. It is really nice that the weather stopped, at least,” he said.

Eversource said as of 3 p.m. Friday, more than 13,000 customers had their power restored since the storm began, while crews were working to address the remaining 6,000 outages. 

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and state Department of Public Health advised Saturday against swimming or having recreational contact with water in areas where sewage systems may have been compromised by the rain on Friday.

That includes the Quinnipiac River, and bodies of water near the state’s major cites.

New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond said Lighthouse Beach would be closed while water samples are tested. Meanwhile, the DEEP and Middletown city officials are investigating the runoff of oil and creosote into the Connecticut River.

Last year at this time the state was in a drought, which Gary Lessor, a meteorologist at the Western Connecticut State University Weather Center, said couldn’t be more different than the situation this year. From June 1 through Friday Bradley International Airport recorded 9.17 inches of rain. Last year in the same timeframe there was only 1.37 inches. 

Information taken from Record-Journal and
Associated Press reports.



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