In some towns near the Rhode Island border the March 2010 flooding will go down as the most damaging since the devastating 1955 flood. Brooks that are normally just a trickle of water flooded whole villages like in Old Mystic.
Rivers like the Yantic crested well above flood stage in the “major flood” category with their highest levels in nearly 30 years. The Yantic reached 13.2 feet which is about what I expected per my previous blog post. Thankfully, the rains ended JUST in time to prevent a more serious flood episode that would have rivaled 1982. That said, many businesses and houses around Norwich are flooded along the banks of the Yantic with the river up to the top of bridges.
On the Quinebaug River in Jewett City the river reached a level not seen in 55 years. The river continues to rise (now to 22 feet) which is far and away the highest since the floods of 1955. Rain continues to fall in portions of Windham County so the Quinebaug should rise through the night tonight and have a crest somewhere near 23 or 24 feet. The mayor in Jewett City told our reporter Lauren Petty that though the Quinebaug is high the big problems are ocurring on the tributaries and along ponds where earthen dams are overflowing and flooding neighborhoods.
All in all this event lived up to the “hype” in eastern Connecticut. Small rivers in Stonington set all time records and other rivers like the Quinebaug are at their highest levels in a half century. The Yantic River which is notoriously difficult to forecast reached a level not seen in 30 years.
The flooding may not be done either. Dams that haven’t seen this kind of force behind them in decades may have some problems. A lot of times it’s not until the day after an event where damage to dams can be surveyed. The Connecticut River in Middletown may reach “major” flooding benchmarks by Thursday night.