Residents evacuated from flooded mobile home park in Wallingford after storm

reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — Emergency crews evacuated dozens of people by boat from a Yalesville mobile home park Thursday after a large area of the park flooded.

On Friday, neighbors said about half of the residents of Yalesville Square remained.

Many roads within the 85-lot trailer park at 230 Main St. were flooded with knee-deep water and covered with a thin sheet of ice Friday. Nearly 4 inches of rain fell Thursday.

Fire Battalion Chief Kris Sundwall said storm water flooded from an open space preserve across Route 150 and down into the trailer park.

“It’s a low-lying area and it basically filled the park up with water,” Sundwall said. 

The Quinnipiac River borders the park on the east, but Sundwall said it did not flood the area.

“It was high, but it never went over the banks,” he said. 

Firefighters used inflatable rescue boats Thursday night to enter the park and rescue those who could not leave on their own.

“It was not a mandatory evacuation,” Sundwall said. “People were basically told that they should evacuate.”

Fire crews also rescued pets from the trailer park and helped move children and staff from Creative Castle Child Care, 210 Main St., to the Little Italy market next door for parent pick-up.

Being close to the Quinnipiac River, the trailer park is located in a flood-prone area. Many have reportedly canoed through the park when it has flooded in the past.

During Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, Wallingford firefighters evacuated residents to emergency shelters. They also monitored the park during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Town Planner Kacie Hand said Friday that local floodplain regulations are required at the state and federal level.

Under floodplain regulations, if new structures are built, they have to be elevated above what the floodplain would be during a 100-year-flood, which is a flood event that has an annual occurrence probability of 1 percent in any given year.

It doesn’t apply to existing buildings, Hand said, and doesn’t address the issue of existing flooding on the land.

Daniel Totz, a retired teacher and longtime resident of the park, said he called for emergency crews Thursday when he believed the flood pumps weren’t working.

His home, which he moved into in 1965, is about 100 yards from the Quinnipiac River.

“I’ve been through about nine of them (floods) since I’ve lived here,” Totz said, “and this is the second one that froze.”

Sundwall said there are two water pumps in the park, one of which was working at half capacity. He added residents will have to be cautious when they return.

“It’s going to ice up tonight,” he said. “The river has already crested, that’s not an issue for us. It should just get better from here."

Yalesville Square is owned and managed by Garden Homes Management Corp. Representatives did not return calls for comment Friday.


Twitter: @LCTakores


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