Flood concerns in Windsor, but little damage in wake of Irene

By Gregory A. Scibelli - Staff Writer
Windsor - posted Thu., Sep. 1, 2011
The Connecticut River rose to just 5 to 10 feet away from Palisado Avenue. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.
The Connecticut River rose to just 5 to 10 feet away from Palisado Avenue. Photos by Gregory A. Scibelli.

Street flooding was the biggest problem the town of Windsor experienced after tropical storm Irene swirled through the area Aug. 28, but no houses were flooded. Department of Public Works Director Brian Funk said the town officials – including the town manager, police and fire chiefs, DPW and Emergency Management Agency directors – are closely monitoring three areas of town that were flooded as of Aug. 31. They were also monitoring the cresting of the Connecticut River and Farmington River, both of which have contributed to local flooding.

As of Aug. 31, a part of Pleasant Street behind Domino’s Pizza was flooded. That part of the road was closed. Houses on Pleasant Street are at a higher elevation and have not been affected by the flooding.  Residents on that road are able to exit Pleasant Street on the other end at Taylor Street or Poquonock Avenue, Funk said.

Another part of the Farmington River caused flooding behind the campus of the Loomis Chaffee School. There was flooding on Batchelder Road, all the way to near the Mechanic Street intersection. None of the town buildings or the library was considered in danger of flooding, Funk said.

Along the Connecticut River, the water had yet to crest in the Windsor area as of Aug. 31, and water levels were about 5 to 10 feet away from reaching a section of Palisado Avenue along the shoreline.  Funk said the DPW and police departments are consistently monitoring the river level in that area and would close the road if necessary.

Also affected by the Connecticut River was River Street. Funk said houses on the street are set away from the river, but the water has come with a few feet of houses.

Town officials were hoping to see the water levels go down as the week progresses. Funk said the town is fortunate that much of the flooded area is undeveloped property.

For the rest of Windsor, damage was kept to a minimum, with minor power outages and tree limbs falling on private property. No trees fell in the road preventing traffic flow, although one limb on Palisado Avenue blocked half of the northbound lane, bringing a power line down with it.

Power was mostly restored to town residents by Aug. 31, and Funk was working with Connecticut Light & Power to get power restored to those who still didn't have it. Windsor High School got power back the night of Aug. 29 and was able to open on time on Aug. 30 for the first day of school.

Town Manager Peter Souza announced on Aug. 29 that the Windsor/Bloomfield landfill will be open to receive brush, limbs and debris from the storm, free of charge, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 10 during normal operating hours. It normally costs $68 per ton to dispose of debris. There is a weight station at the landfill. Souza has been making the free offer after most major thunderstorms that produce a moderate level of debris. Debris must be self-hauled to be disposed.  The town will not be making collections at individual homes.

Landfill Supervisor Mark Gossens said there has been a steady flow of residents in both Bloomfield and Windsor coming to dispose of brush, and he expects it to remain steady through Sept. 10.

Souza reported there was no damage to town buildings or major accidents during the storm. Funk said DPW personnel were well prepared in advance with barriers for at-risk areas, equipment was fueled, and materials were stocked up. A small crew began working on the afternoon of Aug. 28, after the storm had passed.

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