Flooding concerns for Norwich rivers

New London

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — Residents and city leaders are keeping a close eye on both the Yantic and Shetucket Rivers.

Historically both waterways have been prone to flooding and with the heavy rains and melting snow they could rise quickly Friday and Saturday.

The ground is still frozen, so it won’t absorb as much of the rain as it would in the summer. With ice still on the rivers, there could be even more danger they will overflow their banksRelated Content: Norwich city officials preparing for flooding

“Well we could always have an ice dam which would pose a problem if ice gets caught up anywhere in the river it could flood that area more than it normally would. So that is definitely a concern. We’ll have to keep an eye out for that,” said Chief Aaron Westervelt of the Laurel Hill Fire Department.

He is on the city’s emergency management team based out of McKinley Avenue in downtown Norwich. The city has about 2,000 sandbags available to residents, and already about a dozen people have called and come by to pick them up.

The city also has a sand bagging machine so more bags can be filled if needed. There are also extra generators and pumps if basements start to flood.

The flood stage stick at the Yantic River overpass on New London Turnpike sits much higher than the water flowing beneath it. That is what emergency management officials like to see because the river very low. But they’re keeping a close eye on it because they know things can change quickly.

It’s not just people living along the Yantic and Shetucket Rivers who are concerned.

“I’ve had like a real big pond here,” said Jennifer Cordone who moved into her home shortly after News 8 did a story on flooding there back in March 2014.

The owner who lived there at the time had to carry his children on his shoulders when they evacuated.

“That’s crazy and I’m glad we haven’t been through that,” said Cardone. “I’m happy though that nobody got hurt neither when that happened.”

She like many in flood prone areas are keeping a close eye on what is falling and what could be rising outside. They’re hoping Friday’s rains don’t amount to much.

“I was warned by a lot of people when we first moved in here that this might happen especially in the spring so that’s always our biggest fear since we’ve been here to have you know a plan in case we have to leave right away or whatever with our kids,” said Cardone.

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