HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The prolonged rain didn’t only flood roads and basements but uprooted trees as well.
With the dry conditions over the summer, all of this water soaked up into the soil, causing all kinds of damage. It’s been flooding basements, loosening the root system, dropping trees into homes and onto cars, and causing a lot of unexpected disasters.
“It felt like an earthquake and a tornado all in one,” Vanessa Taylor of Hartford said.
The ground shook and the building swayed as the windows blew out, but Taylor said there was no warning, no strong winds, or even thunder or lightning. The tree crew on scene believed water slowly softened the root system and the tree toppled into the building.
The branches crashed through her window into the couch knocking over furniture.
“They just cut it out of my window a half hour ago, so they came up here and cut it out of the window, but I am still here,” Taylor said.
So while this damage is obviously dangerous, as the big trees came down blowing out car windows, there is another danger that is not quite so obvious, and that’s what Eversource wants to point out. Downed power lines are a huge issue, and Eversource said that anytime there are downed lines, there’s always a danger.
“Never go near the lines, never try to move them yourself or drive over them,” Mitch Gross of Eversource said. “Basically stay away and call 911.”
Another hidden danger is water in your basement.
“The hazard is, how deep is the water and what is it affecting,” Deputy Chief Keith Albert of the West Hartford Fire Department said. “If you have a finished basement with outlets that are close to the floor and the water is approaching, that there is a humongous danger.”
Fire officials recommend that if your basement has flooded before, you should install a sump pump. And if you do have significant water in your basement, you can always call 911 and have them check it out for electrical hazards and other hidden dangers.
“The biggest fear is that it is a sewage back up and if it is then there’s a contamination issue it can be a health hazard,” Chief Albert said. “For anybody dealing with it, in that case, MDC will be involved.”
If you do run across the downed power lines, they can energize a tree or a guard rail. As Eversource requests, back off and let the experts handle it.