Government Police/Fire Public Works

Thursday’s Rain Was ‘200-Year Storm’ in West Hartford

Flooding on North Quaker Lane near Asylum Avenue. Photo credit: Tiffani McGinnis

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.

Courtesy image

Courtesy image

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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  • 200 year storm? What about August 2019? Was that a 100 year storm? This town is not set up for the water that flows through it. What is the town going to do about it? We have been flooded badly in August of 19 and now again. What’s going to happen if this hurricane comes on Monday? The places that have flooded over the 20 years we have lived here continue to. Trout Brook and Haynes and Lawler comes to mind. This is ridiculous!

    • The speed at which we got 5” of rain was unprecedented. My yard drains pretty well, and I have never seen as much water in my yard… even during any hurricane over the years. Granted, I’m not quite 200 years old, but this was worse than any hurricane that I have ever lived through.

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