Air quality alert, flood warnings continue in CT with thunderstorms ahead

Photo of Peter Yankowski
Water bubbles out onto Shore Road in Greenwich after a storm.

Water bubbles out onto Shore Road in Greenwich after a storm.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

An air quality alert has been issued for all of Connecticut as a plume of smoke from wildfires out west move across the region.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued the notice for Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties due to “fine particulates across the region.” The smoky haze is the result of fires burning in the western United States and Canada, according to the National Weather Service.

DEEP officials recommended Connecticut residents avoid activities outdoors Tuesday evening, in a statement. The agency said that until around midnight, levels of particulate from the wildfires would be present in unhealthy quantities for sensitive groups throughout the state, and at levels unhealthy for everyone in the western part of the state.

Meanwhile, storms could bring more rain and flooding Tuesday and later into the week.

The weather service said Tuesday morning a flood warning remains in effect for several sections of the Housatonic River in Litchfield County, with more thunderstorms possible for the region Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.

Minor flooding is forecast for the Housatonic River in the Gaylordsville section of New Milford until early Wednesday afternoon, the agency’s Albany office said in a bulletin. The river reaches its flood stage there at 8 feet, according to the bulletin, and as of around 8 a.m. Tuesday, the flood stage was at 7.8 feet.

“The river is expected to rise above flood stage late this morning to a crest of 8.1 feet this afternoon,” the Tuesday morning bulletin reads. “It will then fall below flood stage tomorrow morning.”

Flooding above 8 feet would have water reaching New Milford Foundry and Youngfield Street. New Milford officials said they’re working to keep roads clear and rivers contained after recent heavy rains. Over the weekend, the town lowered Lake Lillinonah’s level twice.

Rising waters could also affect the Falls Village area in Canaan. Flooding could affect Riverside Road at Kent School and the picnic area along Route 7 near Housatonic Meadows, beginning Tuesday afternoon. The water is expected to subside by early Thursday afternoon.

A flood warning has also been issued for the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam in Middlesex County.

Meanwhile, thunderstorms could affect northwestern Connecticut as well as parts of western Massachusetts and eastern New York.

Thunderstorms could start late Tuesday afternoon, with a chance of locally heavy downpours, the weather service said. The rains could produce flash flooding in some areas.

Wednesday could also see severe thunderstorms develop in the region, which could produce “isolated damaging wind gusts” and large hail

“In addition, locally heavy downpours will be possible which may produce minor flooding of low-lying, poor drainage and urban areas will be possible, along with isolated flash flooding,” The agency said.


Expect sunny hazy skies with highs in the upper 80s throughout Tuesday afternoon. Overnight, partly cloudy and humid with lows in the upper 60s.

Wednesday will be partly sunny with patchy fog in the morning and a chance of rain in the afternoon. The humidity continues with highs in the low 80s dropping into the 60s overnight with a chance of rain.

Thursday will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 70s, partly cloudy skies overnight with temperatures dropping into the 50s.

Friday will be partly sunny with a chance of rain and highs in the upper 70s. Mostly clear skies overnight with temperatures in the 50s.

Saturday will have sunny skies with highs in the 80s giving way to partly cloudy skies overnight and lows in the 60s.

On Sunday, expect mostly cloudy skies with a chance of rain and highs in the 70s. Mostly cloudy skies again overnight with a chance of rain and lows in the 60s.