Susan Baines lives high on Flax Hill Road, so falling raindrops are not a concern. "When I turned the telly on the other day and I saw flooding I thought, 'Well, where is it?'" she said. "But it's dreadful. I was watching the news last night, and there were cars floating. I've never actually seen that in person."
Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy acknowledged that not many Norwalk residents have flooding problems, but he said he is concerned about the coming rainstorms. "There's property damage that occurs," he said. "Although this doesn't affect many of the residents of the community, there are those that live along some of the smaller rivers and streams that are affected by this."
The National Weather Service says the storm system developing over the Mississippi Valley will potentially bring heavy rainfall from Thursday into Friday. A flood watch has been issued for southern Fairfield County, and 2 to 4 inches of rain are possible.
Like many people, McCarthy said the problem is that the ground is saturated. "I think that with the amount of snow pack, the potential is for persistent and reoccurring flooding along the rivers and streams," he said. "In the past, we've had some very large storms that have produced some localized flooding."
McCarthy said the fire department got a number of calls during last weekend's wet weather. Nevertheless, many people don't call because it's an ongoing issue that they have come to deal with sump pumps in the basement work fine, as long as the power doesn't go out.
There are ways to prevent property damage, but they're not likely to have an impact soon. "The engineered solutions for this problem are not in the foreseeable future," he said. "As a matter of fact, we just met with the Army Corps of Engineers and Congressman Himes yesterday, looking at some long-term solutions. But in the short term, this does have a very big impact on a number of residents that will suffer some property damage if the rains are significant enough."
Janine Iannazzo is concerned about property damage, but not the type McCarthy has in mind. "I'm always worried about the rain," she said. "I've got a bad tree outside, and I'm worried it's going to get damaged." She has lived near Norwalk Hospital for 46 years, where she is also on relatively high ground. "My basement does get water but not much," she said. "I usually get an inch or two, especially if the weather is really, really bad. But that doesn't mean I won't get more. It means that so far I've been lucky."
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