New Haven cleaning damages from Hurricane Ida

Extreme Weather

NEW HAVEN, Conn., (WTNH)– It was a tough morning for anyone trying to get anywhere Thursday. From trains to streets to tunnels, even your office building might have had flooding. The torrential rain overnight got to it all.

On the big board at Union Station, every train listed was canceled. The head of the MTA calling it a historic and challenging night. It was also a challenging night, and morning, in New Haven’s Pitkin Tunnel. The secure passageway under the Federal Building filled up with about two feet of water.

“We were inundated with water over about a 2-3 hour period where drains and pumps just couldn’t handle the flow of the water. Just too much,” explained New Haven Director of Emergency Operations Rick Fontana.
Yale had to pump water out of some of its buildings, too. That water also shorted out electrical systems and knocking out power to parts of the campus. It was the same in other parts of New Haven.

“The Fire Department managed well. They were pumping 3, 4, 5 feet of water out of people’s basements, getting people out of cars and things that you would expect when you get that much rain in that short a period,” Fontana said.

In East Haven’s Cosey Beach neighborhood, they know a thing or two about flooding, but usually the water is coming up from Long Island Sound. This was coming down from the sky, overwhelming the storm drain on Ellis Road and turning the streets near the beach into canals. Neighbors say it’s happened before.
“We’re used to this. We prepare for it when a storm comes and we listen to Gil and Sam and the guys at Channel 8 and stuff and we put our furniture up and move our parked cars,” said Ellis Road resident Dave Levenduski. “It’s just something we’re used to.”

Many streets near the beach in East Haven saw flooding Thursday morning, as Ida dumped its remnants onto Connecticut overnight.

Flooding on Ellis Road in East Haven, due to heavy rains from Storm Ida on Sept 2, 2021. Photo: Dave Levenduski

Fortunately, lots of people in Cosey Beach raised their houses up after Irene and Sandy, so there’s not much damage. It’s another story for those rail lines. Metro-North posting photos of tracks washed out, covered up, and obstructed by all kinds of debris.

The Metro-North ticket agents were not selling many tickets Thursday morning, just answering a lot of questions. The big question being: When will the trains run again? All trains will be on normal or close to normal schedules Friday morning.

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