NORWALK, Conn. – Gusting winds knocked down trees all over Norwalk on Tuesday evening, creating traffic problems and power outages. The winds were followed by a torrential downpour that flooded streets and trapped motorists, according to Norwalk Police dispatch traffic.
Norwalk firefighters answered 27 calls from 5 p.m. to midnight, Deputy Fire Chief Ed Prescott said. Most were for trees on wires, he said. The problems began in East Norwalk, where a fallen tree reduced traffic on East Avenue to one lane under the railroad bridge. Many problems were reported in the Saugatuck area, including a downed tree on Melrose Avenue.
Trees then began to fall in the Cranbury section, he said. The Chestnut Hill Road area was hard hit, Prescott said, with many downed trees. Power was out in the area.
Patrick Avenue was closed at about 6:30 p.m., with downed power lines that needed the attention of Connecticut Light & Power. CL&P reported 546 homes out of power at 9 p.m., up from 141 at 6 p.m. At 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, the figure was 341, about 1 percent of the total number of customers in Norwalk.
Heavy rain began falling at about 8:30 p.m. Connecticut Avenue at Fairfield Avenue was closed due to flooding, according to dispatch traffic. Scribner Avenue between Connecticut Avenue and Flax Hill Road was difficult to traverse, as rainwater gushed toward storm drains. Other roads were in a similar condition.
Three vehicles were trapped on Interstate 95 under the East Avenue overpass, Norwalk police officers said. The road was closed for about an hour, and traffic was diverted up onto East Avenue and then back down onto the highway. A silver BMW caught fire under the Strawberry Hill Road, Prescott said. It was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
One vehicle damaged by a fallen tree, at Harris and Patchen Streets, Prescott said. No one was in the car when it happened, he said.
"Public works was very helpful," Prescott said. Crews were quick to put up barricades where needed and cleared trees as soon as CL&P secured the power lines, he said.