Middletown fire, DEEP respond to CT River for reports of gas smell, oil on surface following Elsa

The Connecticut River generic

The Connecticut River flowing through East Haddam near Gillette Castle State Park in New London County.

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Middletown fire and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) are investigating after reports of the appearance of oil on the surface of the Connecticut River.

Middletown Mayor Ben Florsheim reported on Facebook Friday, the city received reports of an oil/gas smell in the area of River Road and the appearance of oil on the surface of the Connecticut River.

Middletown Fire, South Fire, and DEEP responded to the scene. An initial investigation found that the smell and oil on the water occurred because heavy rainfall during Tropical Storm Elsa released oil and creosote that had been accumulating under the railroad tracks over years of use.

The mayor said, “There are still many questions we need answers to, including the amount of hazardous material that entered the river. We will be working with DEEP, DOT, and the railroad operator to get those answers and I’ll share them as they become available.”

Mayor Florsheim reassures the public that there is no active oil leak and no danger to the public; however, the gas smell is lingering in the area at this time.

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