Shelton police: Flooding possible Sunday at the Maples

UPDATE 12:30 A.M.: The heavy rainfall has caused “ponding” in many places with poor drainage on Shelton roads. Drivers should be careful when driving anywhere were water frequently builds up.

As of midnight, a particularly bad spot was Route 8 northbound’s Exit 14 (Howe Avenue), where water had accumulated to a depth of a few inches around the curvy exit ramp.

A flash flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for Shelton and the rest of Fairfield County, and will remain in effect through Saturday afternoon.

"People should be aware that flooding is predicted for Sunday" along the Housatonic at the Maples, said Shelton Police Chief Joel Hurliman.

"It has the potential for a fair amount of flooding [and it's] better to be on top of it," Hurliman said.

The Maples is a small residential community along the banks of the Housatonic River, near Indian Well State Park. Flooding has been a frequent problem at the Maples.

Hurliman said most of Shelton doesn't drain into the Housatonic, and the water flowing downstream in the Housatonic comes from as far away as Massachusetts. This is why the flooding danger may be greatest on Sunday — and not earlier — in that area.

Winds will increase, too

Widespread heavy rain and increasing winds are expected in Connecticut, especially late this afternoon, tonight and very early Saturday morning. Precipitation from remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea is heading up the East Coast toward New England.

Flash flooding is possible through much of the tri-state area and New England — especially, in Fairfield County, in small streams and densely-developed (or urban) areas.

Maples residents should secure items

Hurliman said due to experience with predicted storms in the past, it seems as though flooding will happen — it just depends on what path the storm may take.

He urged Maples residents to secure any items that could be damaged because of flooding and to pay attention to weather forecasts.

May get up to an inch of rain an hour

Rainfall amounts from 2 to 4 inches are forecast, with maximum rates that could approach an inch an hour.

“These rainfall amounts could lead to flash flooding of urban and poor drainage areas as well as small stream flash flooding,” stated the NWS. “Main stem rivers [larger or medium-sized rivers] should remain within their banks, although a few may approach bank-full.

“It should be stressed that while we are expecting a prolonged period of rainfall, the main concern during this time period will be ‘flashy’ responses across the urban areas and small streams," the NWS continued.

Governor issues weather warning

Governor Dannel P. Malloy has issued a statement cautioning state residents about the impact of Tropical Storm Andrea.

“The current forecast is calling for heavy rain, minor flooding and high winds, so I want people to take common-sense precautions to secure their property and be aware of deteriorating conditions as this storm approaches,” Malloy said.

Flooding in low-lying areas and some rivers is possible due to heavy rains, according to Malloy’s statement. He said the state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security will monitor the storm and is ready to coordinate any response or assistance that may be necessary.

Other flood watches in the state

Flash flood watches have been issued by NWS for other parts of the state as well. More serious flood watches have been issued for most of northern Connecticut, and a coastal flood watch is in effect for areas along Long Island Sound.

Police are warning people not to attempt to drive through road areas covered with water, since it can be difficult to ascertain how deep the water may be in a particular location.