In the seven hours between 7 p.m. Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday, Tropical Storm Ida dumped more than 8 inches of rain on Darien, leading to downed trees and wires, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said late Thursday morning.
At midnight, the first selectman declared a Local Emergency in town.
Police responded to 21 incidents related to the weather and rescued people from two vehicles stuck in water — but there were no injuries reported in town, Stevenson said in a Code Red message to Darien residents.
The damage also led to road closures on Tokeneke Road near the Interstate 95 entrance and exit and on Casement Street, Stevenson said. Small private bridges at homes in town, were also damaged, she said.
“Our Emergency Operations Center was fully activated and operating without delay or interruption and we activated our sheltering plan to host evacuated residents for the overnight,” Stevenson said. “I issued a Declaration of Local Emergency at midnight last night.”
As early as 11:09 p.m., Wednesday, Stevenson tweeted: “Darien has logged 7.7 inches of rain at the beach and 8 inches at the Noroton Heights Fire Department, far exceeding forecasted predictions.”
Two minutes later, NBC Connecticut Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan replied: “Wow – those are by far the highest reports we’ve seen. We were forecasting 3-6 inches with amounts up to 10 inches in spots.”
A later measurement Stevenson reported, of 8.94 inches of rain in town, was met with skepticism. Reports to the National Weather Service from other nearby towns had lower measurements.
Darien Public Schools were to open on a regular schedule Thursday, Superintendent Alan Addley tweeted at 5:04 a.m.
The town’s two public beaches are closed for swimming on both Thursday and Friday due to the heavy rains, Darien Parks & Recreation Department tweeted. “They will reopen for swimming on Saturday, Sept. 4,” the message said.
Darien Library delayed opening until 11 a.m. as a result of the storm, the library announced on Twitter.
Metro-North Train Service Continues To Be Suspended
An 11:35 a.m., Thursday message emailed from Metro-North:
Metro-North service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines continues to be suspended due to severe flooding, power issues and washouts caused by heavy rainfall.
Crews continue to assess damage and are working around the clock to resume some limited service later today.
Additionally, Hudson Rail Link remains suspended due to the suspension of train service.
North End Access at Grand Central Terminal remains closed due to weather related issues.
A state of emergency has been declared in New York state. You are urged not to travel at this time.
Please continue to follow us on Twitter, https://new.mta.info/ and listen for announcements on trains and at stations for updated service information.
If You Need Help
For anyone needing assistance after the flood, Stevenson said the town government is available: “Our Emergency Management Team, Town Hall staff and I are here to help if you need help.”
She suggested: ‘If your home or business has experienced storm damage, please document with date and time stamped photographs and email to DarienEOC@darienct.gov.”
The town has asked for on-site help from the Regional Department of Emergency Management “to assist with FEMA administration requirements,” Stevenson said. “We will advise the community if and when in-person assistance is available.”
The storm didn’t rise to the level where a State Emergency Declaration was declared by Gov. Ned Lamont, Stevenson said, but she added, “We are confident the impacts of Ida will trigger a Gubernatorial Emergency Declaration given the devastation statewide.”
Darien’s last major storm, Hurricane Elsa, didn’t create as much flooding, Stevenson said: “Tropical Storm Ida brought the same total rainfall as Tropical Storm Elsa did on July 9 but in half the time, resulting in much higher flood levels.”
Full Text of the First Selectman’s Message
This Code Red message was sent out at about 11 a.m., according to an email received from the First Selectman’s Office:
The Town of Darien experienced catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Ida between the hours of 7 p.m. last night and 2 am this morning. We received over 8 inches of rain in that seven-hour period.
Our Emergency Operations Center was fully activated and operating without delay or interruption and we activated our sheltering plan to host evacuated residents for the overnight. I issued a Declaration of Local Emergency at midnight last night.
Darien Police responded to 21 weather-related incidents including two vehicle-in-floodwater rescues. We have a number of downed trees, utility wires and road closures of Casement Street and Tokeneke Road at the I-95 interchange where the roadway has washed out. Several small bridges to homes have been damaged. Thankfully no Darien residents or emergency responders were injured in the storm.
Tropical Storm Ida brought the same total rainfall as Tropical Storm Elsa did on July 9 but in half the time, resulting in much higher flood levels.
The July 9 storm caused significant localized damage here in Darien but did not rise to the level for State Emergency Declaration. We are confident the impacts of Ida will trigger a Gubernatorial Emergency Declaration given the devastation statewide.
If your home or business has experienced storm damage, please document with date and time stamped photographs and email to DarienEOC@darienct.gov.
The Town has requested on-site administrative support from our Regional Department of Emergency Management to assist with FEMA administration requirements. We will advise the community if and when in-person assistance is available.
Our Emergency Management Team, Town Hall staff and I are here to help if you need help.