WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Heavy rain flooded a West Hartford apartment complex on Wednesday, displacing more than 40 people.
Ida Bailey woke up to the sound of downpours and the sight of a new waterfront view.
“I saw my car, and it looked like the water was up to the wheel, so I ran outside and started knocking on doors to tell everybody their car was going to be flooded,” Bailey said.
The flood waters didn’t stay outdoors, rushing into basements and reaching near the ceiling.
Bailey called 911.
“The first unit, arriving here, discovered about five-and-a-half feet of water in the basement,” West Hartford Deputy Fire Chief Jarred Smith said. “It’s affected the electrical, gas service and hot water for all of the units.”
West Hartford Fire officials and restoration crews worked for more than seven hours to get water out of units as rain continued to fall throughout the day.
Resident Mike Bracken said rain flooded homes and forced roads to close across town, but the Prospect Avenue complex is where the saw the most damage.
“We were stretched kind of thin for a while,” Bracken said. “There were a few people who were forced to abandon cars and some flooding in residential areas but nothing as significant as this.”
And Smith said this isn’t the first time. Two years ago, the complex flooded during Tropical Storm Fred.
Wednesday’s flooding reminded residents of then — a time they say they want to forget.
“[There was] a river of raw sewage coming through here across the street there, the cars that were parked there, there was sewage up to the door handles,” Bracken said.
Bailey said that flood damage forced her to stay in a hotel for seven months. Now, she’s headed back to one, but said this will be last time.
“This is the second time, and I won’t let this happen to me a third time to me again, so I think I’ll just move as soon as I find somewhere else because this isn’t safe,” Bailey said.
Fire officials said residents will be displaced for at least one night as the fire marshal’s office and building inspector work to determine what repairs need to be made, and if the infrastructure of the building is safe.