Torrential downpours flooded West Hartford on the afternoon of July 4, 2023, but Fire Chief Greg Priest said the flooding subsided relatively quickly. [Updated, July 5]
By Bridget Bronsdon
West Hartford was swamped with a 4th of July flash flood – a warning that resulted in road closings, basement flooding, and submerged vehicles. As the torrential downpour and thunderstorms engulfed West Hartford in rain, the West Hartford Fire Department urged residents to remain home until the storm passed.
As of Tuesday at roughly 1:30 p.m., The National Weather Service in Norton had issued a Flash Flood Warning that was set to extend until 4:30 p.m. for Southeastern Hartford County in northern Connecticut.
Soon after, at 1:36 p.m., the West Hartford Fire Department tweeted to report that they are currently operating at multiple incidents including basement flooding and vehicles stuck in standing water. Officials said they will respond to others as soon as possible.
Public Works Director John Phillips also made note of road closures and barricades in town due to water. The roads include: Asylum/Bainbridge (vehicle stuck in the water at Middlebrook/Auburn), North Main/Albany (vehicle stuck in the water), King Phillip/Brewster (vehicle stuck at King Phillip and Mohawk), King Phillip/Albany, and Golf/Asylum.
Local weather expert John Lyons also commented on the severity of the storm. “The proximity of the stationary front to our region has allowed these heavy storms to continually impact our area,” stated Lyons. “We will be at risk for this tropical-like rain to continue off and on into the early evening. I advise anyone heading outside or driving to use extreme caution as these storms will produce cloud-to-ground lightning and flash flood conditions on our roadway. Try to avoid travel if at all possible until these storms subside.” Lyons recommended Tuesday afternoon.
As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, there was still considerable flash flooding ongoing, keeping responders busy working to attend to road closings, flooding, and stuck vehicles.
In an update Wednesday, West Hartford Fire Chief Greg Priest said that the department had responded to a total of 17 calls Tuesday, six of which weren’t for stranded vehicles. “All of the motorists extricated by themselves,” Priest said, and no one needed to be rescued.
According to Priest, the flooded roads were geographically dispersed throughout town.
While some of the flooding was extensive, it subsided rapidly once the torrential rain stopped. “Our emergency cleared up very quickly,” Priest told We-Ha.com.
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford! Click the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.