Town collects damage reports with eye toward fed assistance
FAIRFIELD — The town has been gathering information from homeowners about flash flood damage from September’s torrential rain storms.
According to Fire Chief Denis McCarthy, who also serves as the town’s emergency management director, they have reviewed the 65 reports received.
“These reports indicated residential flooding in neighborhoods adjacent to rivers and streams,” McCarthy said. Damage reports range from flooded basements with damaged heating and electrical systems to a few residents who suffered flooding on their first floor.
Lynbrook Road resident Peter Barbieri was one of those residents. Flood waters filled his basement and came up to the first floor. He lost a furnace, a new hot water heater, a refrigerator and a washer and dryer. In addition, Barbieri said, the first-floor flooring had to be ripped up and replaced.
The reports received by the town were forwarded to the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, which is conducting a regional and statewide initial damage assessment.
“The IDA will help determine if the regional and statewide damage from the storm is sufficient to request a more in-depth assessment, and ultimately, a request for federal disaster assistance,” McCarthy said. “We expect a decision on whether these steps will be authorized in the coming weeks.”
Locally, McCarthy said, the town’s emergency management team is evaluating flood control and flood response options.
“Later this year, we will begin our five-year revision of the Hazard Mitigation Plan to identify options for major flood control measures,” McCarthy said.
The previous plan, he said, included some projects now under construction, like the work being done at Sherman Green.
First Selectman Mike Tetreau said he planned to reach out to Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim to discuss measures to stem flooding from the Rooster River, which runs between the two communities. Tetreau said he had heard from residents that, in the past, the town had dredged the river on a regular basis, and he was going to investigate why that stopped.
Bridgeport residents were scheduled to hold a forum Thursday to discuss Rooster River flooding, as well.