Heavy rain from remnants of Fred causing severe flooding, road closures in Hartford County

Extreme Weather

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred overwhelmed storm drains and flooded streets across Connecticut Thursday morning, leaving behind pools of water for drivers to contend with. 

“If you don’t like the weather in New England just wait a few minutes.” That’s a direct quote from Mark Twain. And if you didn’t like the weather Thursday morning, a few minutes later, sunshine.

Ed Duclos of Vernon woke up Thursday and realized his 6 a.m. run was not going to happen. Duclos told us, “It’s was like no there’s no way you’re going out in that.” 

Moisture that was formerly Tropical Storm Fred moved through Connecticut Thursday morning for several hours wreaking havoc. 

Tropical rain was so heavy and fast it didn’t soak into the ground but instead created flash flooding like on Trout Brooke in West Hartford and across the region. 

WEB EXTRA: REPORT IT RECAP: Flash flooding in Greater Hartford area from heavy rains

The National Weather Service (NWS) put out a Severe Flood Warning for Hartford County Thursday morning through 12:30 p.m.

That all seems par for the course this summer. 

Duclos adds, “Be ready to adjust.” 

News 8 Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons says a month’s worth of rain (anywhere from 2-3 inches) fell in just a few hours overwhelming bodies of water and storm drains. The NWS reports the storm has dumped 3-4.5 inches of rain. Scattered showers are expected for the rest of the afternoon.

People we caught up with admit it can wear on your mood. David Robinson of East Hartford admitted, “It can pretty much play on your emotions.”

Even the Connecticut River swelled in East Hartford’s Great River Park. Park River in Hartford continues to experience current rises. NWS says this rise will trigger flooding in the parking area for the University of Hartford.

The heaviest of the rain ended mid-morning, but reports of flooding continue to come in. There were multiple reports of road closures and basement floodings in homes in Simsbury, Bristol, and West Hartford according to the NWS.

WEB EXTRA: Flooding in West Hartford – Courtesy: Megan Saunders

Conditions left homeowners like Linda Moore in West Hartford with a mess.

She spoke to News 8 Thursday afternoon as the fire department worked to pump the water out of her basement. “Now, if you look in some of the egress windows you can see the washer and dryer floating around…I had a little bit of a cry this morning.”

West Hartford public safety (WHPS) also sent out crews to block off flooded roadways. They encourage drivers not to “attempt to go under or pass through these blocked areas. This is a public safety measure to protect you and your vehicle.” 

If you encounter flooding on roads, the advice is to never drive through it: “Turn around, don’t drown.”

Erin Conneely in West Hartford told News 8 she had to help a neighbor out of their car stuck in floodwaters in the middle of the street.

“I took him in the house, got him a change of clothes…[Now] he’s doing fine,” she explained.

Hundreds of calls came in for help from stranded drivers. West Hartford Battalion Chief Keith Albert explained, “In the beginning, there were a lot of cars getting swept away. People trapped in cars, floating away. We had to get them out of the car, get them to safety…We had a couple of issues with water affecting electrical services in houses, which caused smoke in the house. Fortunately, none of them caught on fire.”

WHPS adds, “Do not allow children to play in standing water. Standing water/floodwater can be harmful to your health. Floodwater may contain downed power lines, household, medical, and industrial hazardous waste, human and livestock waste, stray animals, and other contaminants that can lead to illness. Exposure to contaminated water can cause skin infections, rashes, gastrointestinal illness, or tetanus. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid standing water.”

WHPS remind the public, 911 is for emergencies only. All non-emergency calls, such as flooding, should be directed to 860-523-5203. 

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