Flood Warning Remains In Effect For Tolland County, Weather Service Say

A flood warning for central Tolland County remains in effect this Tuesday morning, one day after downpours dropped inches of water, flooding roads and basements. The flood warning is in effect until 10:15 a.m., the National Weather Service[1] said. The warning targets small streams and rivers, such as the Willimantic River in Coventry, which rose above flood stage overnight, the service said.

The river should lower later in the day. There’s a slight chance of showers Tuesday afternoon, a chance of rain Wednesday night and a chance of rain — and snow — Thursday morning, the weather service said. The workweek started with snow, ice and freezing rain Monday morning, which caused cars and trucks to spin out and slide off the road.

The freezing rain and sleet was replaced by driving rain in the afternoon. Places like Bristol, Cheshire and Orange reported more than four inches of precipitation.

“That’s over a month’s worth of rain in six or seven hours,” Gary Lessor, chief meteorologist at Western Connecticut State University’s Weather Center, said of Monday’s storm. “It was very intense — as much as one-half to one inch of rain per hour.” The National Weather Service upgraded a flood advisory to a flood warning about 1:30 p.m.

Monday, and the warning was in effect for Hartford and Tolland counties until 7:30 p.m. A flood warning for small streams in central Hartford County was also issued until 9:45 p.m. The NWS received reports of 4.5 inches of rain in Cheshire, 4.23 inches in Orange, 4.13 inches in Southington, and 4.08 inches in Bristol.

Southington saw 1.3 inches of sleet and snow as well as rain, and Bradley International Airport recorded 1.1 inches of sleet before the rain arrived.

Lessor said the storm first reached southwestern Connecticut around 6:30 a.m. Monday. “It reached central Connecticut where there was colder air in place … and we saw a combination of sleet, snow and freezing rain,” Lessor said. In a rare move, the state Department of Transportation warned of flooding on the raised section of I-84 in Hartford, where more than a foot of water had pooled amid near-blinding sheets of rain.

Reports of flooded basements started coming in to some Hartford area fire departments by early afternoon. Later, there was a report of water up to the door of someone’s car in Hartford, and part of the Berlin Turnpike was closed because of flooding. Capitol Avenue, a main thoroughfare in Hartford, was closed for a time near Laurel Street for knee-high water.

South Road in Farmington was also shut down temporarily for heavy rain. Residents in West Hartford were posting images to social media showing ankle deep water on some streets, including Foxcroft Road. The weather was a stark contrast to Saturday’s sunny warmth.

Temperatures plummeted Sunday, and sleet and freezing rain fell in the Hartford area Sunday night making for slick conditions just in time for the Monday morning commute. In addition to causing rush-hour spinouts and crashes, the weather prompted school officials to delay classes.

Tolland Crash

Ice accumulations of around one-tenth of an inch were enough to cover the ground in Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties early Monday. At dawn on I-91 north in Windsor, a truck spun out and got hung up on a wall in the center of the highway.

No one was injured, state police said. It didn’t take long for the ice to be replaced by rushing water. Any ice melted or was washed away by the rain, which was heavy at times.

Looking forward, only one or two days this week will be considered “seasonable,” Lessor said, while others will be colder than normal.

Courant staff writers Gregory B.

Hladky and Mikaela Porter contributed to this story.

References

  1. ^ National Weather Service (www.courant.com)

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