Man and dog rescued in widespread flooding in Fairfield

Photo of Katrina Koerting

FAIRFIELD — A New Hampshire man and his dog had to be rescued from their submerged Jeep Grand Cherokee overnight as flooding swept through the town, police said.

Officers were able to get both out around 2:30 a.m. Thursday and helped put them up at a hotel while their car was towed from Chambers Street and Johnson Drive — just one of dozens of calls the police handled due to the remnants of Hurricane Ida hitting the area.

“We are seeing similar amounts of downed trees and wires resulting in road closures and road hazards throughout town compared to previous weather-related emergencies, but the number of vehicles towed due to being caught in flash floods was unique to the weather that occurred last night,” Police Lt. Edward Weihe said.

Between 7 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, he said the department responded to 40 flooding condition calls, with approximately 30 vehicles towed due to road conditions, 13 road hazards and two motor vehicle crashes.

Weihe said the vast majority of towed vehicles were unoccupied or abandoned.

“We are pleased to report that there were no logged hospital transports related to flooding or road hazard conditions,” he said. “We are crediting this to the fact that the majority of the severe weather occurred late in the night when most people weren’t out on the road.”

The 200 block of Euclid Avenue and the 2100 block of Burr Street remained closed Thursday afternoon due to downed trees and wires.

“There has been significant flooding and damage across town,” First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said in a morning update. “I want to thank our emergency crews who worked through the night to help motorists and homeowners with trees down.”

She said Kings Highway East, Stratfield along the river and Mill Plain Road seemed to fare worse than other parts of town. Lake Mohegan and Gould Manor also “suffered some extensive damage.” She said the town will continue to assess facilities and clean up the debris.

“The fire department has deployed community outreach units this morning to the hardest hit neighborhoods providing guidance to homeowners and businesses, and directing them to recovery resources,” she said.

She said residents should call the Emergency Communications Center’s non-emergency line at 203-254-4700, option 1 to request non-emergency assistance for flooding.

“Rooster River continues to cause major flooding to homeowners,” Kupchick said. “I have requested $3.25 million from the federal ARPA funding to help address these issues as well as additional projects to help downtown flooding. I have heard from residents with 6 (plus) feet of water in their basement.”

Officials were still advising caution Thursday.

The schools opened on a two-hour delay.

UI reported 382 Fairfield customers were without power around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, but the number had already dropped to 240 by 10:30 a.m. and 159 by 1:30 p.m.

“Fairfield Police would like to remind residents that any time severe weather occurs similar to what took place last night, they should exercise extreme caution during and after the storm,” Weihe said. “Residents are encouraged to proceed with caution whenever power is being restored, roads are being cleared and as flood water recedes following storms. Lingering hazards such as downed wires that are live, malfunctioning traffic signals, sewage backup in flood zones, and broken tree limbs suspended by wires may occur following severe weather conditions so residents should always remain vigilant in a storm’s aftermath.”

He asked residents to avoid known hazard areas and to immediately report any lingering hazards they see to first responders, utility crews, and public works crews.

“As always, residents are encouraged to monitor our town of Fairfield websites and social media platforms for updates on conditions,” he said.

If you require assistance from a Town Department please utilize the Request for Service on the website: https://www.fairfieldct.org/311/request/add.