Heavy rains, winds cause road closures along coastal CT
Weather linked to a tropical storm hit the region late Friday afternoon, bringing heavy rain and strong winds and pulling down trees and wires in some areas of the state along the coastline.
The weather is expected to continue through Saturday morning.
The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning on Friday for a large swath of Fairfield County, from Bridgeport down to Stamford. The warning also was in effect in New Haven.
The storm, which formed off the coast of North Carolina, brings “dangerous,” strong gusts of wind from 30 to 50 mph and peak rainfalls of 2 to 4 inches, with more likely in some areas, prompting a flood potential.
Late Friday afternoon in Greenwich, police announced the closure of North Street between Lower Cross Road and North Stanwich Road because of a tree down across the roadway. Police said Taconic Road was also closed near Farms Road around 5:45 p.m. because of wires “down and burning.”
Half an hour later in Ridgefield, a tree down across the road closed Route 35 at its intersection with Route 33.
Late Friday night, Branford police said there were no road closures or flooding issues to report, but said there were two successful water rescues earlier in the night.
“If you have to be out on the roads, please go slow and be careful,” Branford police warned. “Please keep an eye out for flooding, down trees, and down power lines. Do not approach them and please call us to report them.”
The storm warning cautioned residents in the area to prepare for possible wind damage, including fallen tree limbs, hazardous driving conditions and damage to porches, awnings, sheds and even unanchored mobile homes.
The NWS said storm conditions are also “somewhat favorable” to tornadoes.
“Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large treetops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings,” the warning said.
There will also be a flash flood warning in effect during the duration of the storm.
“Consider protective actions if you are in an area vulnerable to flooding,” the NWS said.
The storms are expected to continue until early Saturday.
In New Haven, Mayor Justin Elicker noted it would be the first tropical storm of the summer and the forecast was for it to remain in the area in the early morning hours Saturday.
“Our public safety team is prepared to respond to this storm and keep our residents safe,” Elicker said. “While we don’t anticipate this being a major storm, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind residents about important storm preparations.”
Elicker said that, with social distancing requirements for COVID-19, a “shelter is a last resort, although they will be available in New Haven if needed.” He said staying informed through emergency officials “is critical to being provided with the most up to date storm information.” City resident can sign up for alerts at Newhavenct.gov/alerts.
Elicker reminded residents not to drive through flooded areas and to “just turn around.” He said residents should keep cellphones charged, secure lawn furniture and loose objects in yards, and make sure drains are clear.