SHELTON, Conn. (AP) _ Heavy rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee sent the Housatonic River over its banks Thursday, flooding some homes and prompting a mandatory evacuation order for residents of one low-lying neighborhood.
In the Shelton neighborhood known as the Maples, where some people on a single street were ordered to leave Thursday afternoon, residents were dealing with flooding only days after cleaning up the mess left by Hurricane Irene.
“I even have fish swimming in my garage, that’s a first,” Brian Johnson told the Connecticut Post. “There’s minnows swimming in there.”
The rains had mostly subsided by midday Thursday, but 4 inches fell in parts of the state within a six-hour period.
That was enough to cause flash flooding that closed roads and schools across Connecticut. Police departments from Ledyard in southeastern Connecticut to Winsted in the northwest responded to flooded streets, and state police also had to close some ramps to Interstate 91 and I-84.
“It’s scattered all across the state, where we’ve got either pooling, ponding or flooding on the roadways,” said Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman.
The Housatonic River in southern Litchfield County hit moderate flood stage before cresting Thursday afternoon, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Hugh Johnson in Albany, N.Y.
“It’s only as bad as it is because we didn’t have time to recover from Irene,” he said.
The University of Connecticut closed its West Hartford campus and school districts in Bloomfield and Region 14, which serves Bethlehem and Woodbury, closed because of the flooding. Others delayed opening because streets had become temporarily impassable.
No injuries were reported, but police said several cars became stranded by high water, and there were long delays for many morning commuters.
West Hartford Police Lt. Jeremy Clark said some streets in his town had up to 4 feet of water on them.
“We were pretty much inundated with calls and traffic issues and cars stalling out in the middle of intersections and water in places that it is not normally,” he said. “It certainly put a tax on our personnel. We ended up keeping our midnight crew into the morning to help handle the traffic situations.”
Flooding was reported on the Connecticut, Farmington and Housatonic rivers and a flash-flood warning was issued in Litchfield County. An urban and small stream flood advisory also was issued for Hartford County.
The Chester-Hadlyme Ferry was closed because of the high water on the Connecticut River.