NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Rain and high tide, taking it in stride. New Haven County towns are preparing for Tropical Storm Elsa to hit.
Herb Goldman’s family home in Milford has been battered by Hurricane Sandy and the storms that came before. Like his neighbors, he’s brought in the floats and patio furniture but now worries about the rising tide getting higher than his elevated first floor.
“Four times in my life I’ve seen it happen, four times in my life I’ve seen this whole front porch go. That second floor just hanging there in the air. That bulkhead washed down. It happens. Tides are coming higher,” Goldman said.
In East Haven, the Department of Public Works was bringing in the lifeguard stations and gearing up their saws in case of tree damage. The crews worked for more than two months straight cleaning up after Tropical Storm Isaias last year.
This time, they’re cautious but hopeful the damage won’t be extensive.
“The rain is a concern because that’s going to be a little amount of time and that could be a problem, and the high tide’s going to be right in the middle,” said Charles Coyle, East Haven Public Works Operation Superintendent.
Flooding is the main concern.
East Haven says the utility companies did a lot of tree work after Isaias, so they’re hopeful the power outages won’t be too bad.
Anyone who drives down West Main Street in Waterbury – a major thoroughfare downtown – knows it’s out there. Construction equipment and crews. They’re trying to build new sidewalks along the Palace Theater and across the street.
But, on Thursday morning, concern was building among the screw at Guerrera Construction.
“If it gets flooded, that’s a concern, you know?” said Juan Arroyo, with Guerrera Construction.
That’s why people driving by see a huge plastic tarp hanging from one side of the theater marquee. It’s a sort of storm shield they hope can keep the elements away from their construction work.
They aren’t the only ones doing some road work. Waterbury Department of Public Works crews were busy keeping watch over some of the city’s notorious flooding areas.
“We’re going around the city checking of our problematic areas, our low-lying areas, some storm drains, some culverts making sure that the water is able to flow free,” said Mark Lombardo, Deputy Director of the Waterbury Department of Public Works.
They also spent hours above ground in the city’s trees. Recent storms have damaged trees in many spots, causing weakened limbs to fall onto neighborhood streets like Euclid Avenue. That’s where News 8 found Brandon Strollo in a bucket truck sawing off dangerous parts of trees they did not want to come crashing down on the street below or onto cars or onto powerlines.
“To keep traffic flowing, keep everyone, you know, safe,” he said.
Workers say they’ve been busy as this rough weather approaches and they want Waterbury residents to know they take pride in helping them weather whatever Mother Nature has in store.
“We’re out here doing our best,” said Jose Gerena, a worker with the Waterbury Department of Public Works.