Nor’easter closes roads, brings high winds to Norwalk

Photo of Abigail Brone

NORWALK — The city saw wind gusts as high as 38 mph and new rainfall at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour during the season’s first nor’easter.

Norwalk remained under a coastal flood advisory and flash flood watch until 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest rain will fall until about 4 p.m.

The Norwalk area is expected to receive between 3 and 5 inches of rain by the time the storm subsides, according to the NWS.

Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, as the rain subsides, wind is expected to pick up, reaching between 40 and 50 mph, according to Norwalk police.

“Only a few reports of wires and trees down around the city today,” Norwalk Police Department wrote in a social media update. “Intermittent rain continues into the afternoon, and while it can still be heavy, the steadiest is lifting north of the area. The rain still causes additional street flooding and poor drainage issues, along with some streams and creeks that are already having problems from earlier rain.”

The frequency of gusts are also expected in increase as well. Saturated leaves and soil combined with frequent, strong gusts can increase instances of downed trees and, subsequently, power lines, according to Norwalk police. Additional bouts of rain may persist through Wednesday before finally easing into drier conditions overnight into Thursday.

With winds set to pick up Tuesday afternoon, Norwalk Public Schools canceled all after-school programs.

“The latest forecast shows the potential for widespread strong and damaging winds for our area this afternoon, continuing through the night,” NPS said in a statement. “To keep our students safe, all afterschool programs & activities for today, Tuesday, October 26 are cancelled.”

By late Tuesday morning, more than 60 Eversource customers in Norwalk were without power. As of about 4 p.m., that number had dropped to about five, according to the Eversource outage tracker.

Eversource, the state’s largest electrical utility, said it is preparing for a Level 5 storm, meaning there is potential for up to 125,000 customers to be without power.

As of 11:45 a.m., Knowalot Lane was closed to traffic due to downed electrical wires laying across the street. Stevens Street from Stuart to Rhodonolia was closed around noon due to down electrical wires, according to Norwalk police.

The area of 31 Taylor Ave. was closed due to low-hanging electrical wires as well.

East Avenue between Fort Point Street and Winfield Street experienced significant flooding, with the area closed by Norwalk police from about 7 to 8 a.m.

The city addressed flooding hot spots and known problem areas prior to the storm’s arrival, city spokesperson Josh Morgan said.

“All critical infrastructure (e.g. generators, storm outfalls, storm drains, etc.) and equipment (e.g. chainsaws, bucket/dump trucks, flashlights, etc.) were cleaned/inspected to ensure proper working order,” Morgan said. “We are fully staffed and have folks ready for on-call/standby if needed.”

Isolated roadway flooding incidents were reported, and several tree limbs fell at Calf Pasture Beach and Cranbury Park, Morgan said. Both the beach and the park were closed until further notice.

“We will inspect any damage before reopening to ensure there are no branches or trees that are unsafe,” Morgan said. “We remind the public to ‘turn around — don’t drown’ and to avoid water covered roadways. Cones and barrels are set up to close areas during flood conditions, and motorists should not attempt to drive around them or move them out of the way.”

No storm-related injuries were reported, according to Morgan.

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Veteran’s Park was canceled.

However, the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Norwalk Public Library SoNo branch will proceed as scheduled from 1 to 6 p.m., according to a statement shared by the library.