West Hartford received about 5 inches of rain in the span of about three hours Thursday morning, adding to concern as the next major storm looms.
By Ronni Newton
The storm that hit West Hartford on Thursday morning and caused significant flooding was a 200-year event, officials said.
“The short story is that the area got about 5 inches of rain over about 3 hours, and that is greater than a 200-year storm,” Joseph Laliberte of consulting firm CDM Smith told Town of West Hartford officials.
“On a 1 to 3 hour basis, it was a 200-year event at the USGS North Branch Park River gage” according to CDM. Other Hartford County towns received significant rainfall, but West Hartford received more than surrounding communities.
According to Town Engineer Duane Martin, even with improvements to the town’s drainage system it’s designed to handle a 10-year storm – but Thursday’s storm was unprecedented.
Town Manager Matt Hart said the town is working on its infrastructure, but the amount of rain received in a short timeframe Thursday was the most he recalls.
By Thursday afternoon storm waters had receded, but the ground remains saturated.
Tropical Storm Henri is moving up the East Coast and threatening to strengthen into a hurricane. Eversource officials said Thursday that they are preparing to respond to the potential impact on customers and communities throughout the state.
“We have been closely watching multiple storm forecasts for several days, and we’re actively engaged in our emergency response preparedness efforts so that, if necessary, we’re ready to respond and quickly restore power for our customers,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom in a news release.
“There’s still some uncertainty across multiple models that we follow, and we’re preparing based on the current forecast. One of the biggest challenges for storms like Henri is that changes in the storm track can significantly alter potential impacts. We will continue to adjust our response plans to shift crews and other resources accordingly as the storm approaches New England, and our dedicated employees are ready to work around the clock to serve our customers.”
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