Flooding in the Valley: Dangerous driving in Derby during the storm

New Haven

DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — Roosevelt Drive is known to flood. But, when it came to Tuesday’s storm that soaked Connecticut, workers in the area saw troubling conditions.

“It’s crazy!” said Cindy Barbian, a worker at the St. Vincent DePaul of The Valley Food Bank and Thrift Shop, where floodwaters at the edge of the parking lot and Roosevelt Drive were building all day. “This is pretty bad today.”

It was so bad, workers gathered at the window to watch the action as driver after driver challenged the floodwaters.

“Whoa!” they gasped as cars kicked up large waves.

“Someone’s gonna get into an accident though,” Barbian said.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Department of Public Works crews have been logging long hours trying to clear catch basins before and during the storm.

“We’ve been working pretty hard to keep the catch basins clean,” said DPW worker Brenden Rushford. “Keep the water flowing rather than stopping and building up in certain spots.”

Despite all their work, part of Roosevelt Drive looked like a river. That part of Derby is known for causing some storm-related headaches.

“There’s always a problem there that the catch basin just doesn’t handle as much water as it should,” said DPW worker Kelly Dunn-Pelham.

As day gave way to night, the concern switched from flooding to anticipated strong winds. Some DPW crews remained on the clock in case those winds bring down tree branches onto power lines, causing outages.

“It’s rough for us out here so anyone that’s out driving around, just keep your eyes peeled for workers and be safe.”

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