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UPDATE: Third Major Flood Of The Housatonic River This Year

by STAFF | Sep 8, 2011 1:06 pm

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Posted to: Derby, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton

UPDATE: As of 12:30 p.m. Thursday, the Housatonic River at the Stevenson Dam measured 20.04 feet. That pushes the river just above its 20-foot “major” flood stage.

The forecast still calls for the river to crest at 20.08 feet and then begin to recede.

A post from 11:15 a.m. follows:

After another round of flooding in the Maples Thursday morning, Brian Johnson has had enough.

“The house is definitely going on the market,” he said.

The Maples — a low-lying area of Shelton on the banks of the Housatonic River — was once again under water. This year has been extremely tough there. First there were the floods in March that reached historical proportions.

Then there was Hurricane Irene, which caused the Housatonic River below the Stevenson Dam to actually flow backward.

Johnson was dejected Thursday, but he had a sense of humor.

He said he wants to take out a real estate ad in the New York Times for waterfront property in Fairfield County.

“I’ll even include the boat,” he said.

Play the video below to see Johnson leaving the Maples in his truck Thursday morning.

The Housatonic River was at 18.71 feet as of 10 a.m. Thursday (Sept. 8). Its flood stage is 11 feet.

The usual spots along the river were flooded — the Maples in Shelton, McConney Grove in Derby and homes on the river banks along Roosevelt Drive/Route 34 in Oxford.

The difference in Thursday’s flooding was that the forecast for flooding and the actual flooding were far apart.

The Housatonic River at the Stevenson Dam was at 15.4 feet at 7 a.m. Thursday, according to information posted on the National Weather Service website. It was predicted to rise to 16.3 feet by 2 p.m.

Photo: Tony SpinelliHowever, by 9:30 a.m., the river had already reached 18.26 feet.

That left locals once again frustrated with FirstLight Power, the company that operates the Stevenson Dam. Residents in Oxford, Derby and Shelton have been lobbying the company to lower lakes above the Stevenson Dam to alleviate the flooding headache. A message was left with the company.

Shelton issued a recommended evacuation order for residents in the Maples, according to Police Chief Joel Hurliman.

“We sent out a message that self evacuation is recommended at this point, and to take necessary precautions,” Hurliman said.

Hurliman said the river is expected to reach higher levels than it did in March, or during Hurricane Irene.

Charles Chancio, 21, of 567 Roosevelt Drive in Oxford had a flooded cellar Thursday morning. Water also surrounded his house. See the video at the top of this page.

Members of the Oxford Fire Department had advised him in person at 7 a.m. to move his valuables to high ground.

He has lived on the Housatonic his whole life — but has never seen it flood like it has this year.

Linda Fiore rents a home at 569 Roosevelt Drive. She moved in July 1. This was her second flood.

“I can’t keep going through this,” said Fiore, who plans to move.

Information from 9:30 a.m. follows:

As of 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, the forecast for the Housatonic River has it rising even higher than reported at 7:30 a.m.

Click here for a great resource on current and predicted levels of the Housatonic River.

The river was at 17.9 feet at 9 a.m. Thursday, well above its 11-foot flood stage. By 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the river was at 18.26 feet.

Shelton issued a recommended evacuation order for residents in the Maples, according to Police Chief Joel Hurliman.

“We sent out a message that self evacuation is recommended at this point, and to take necessary precautions,” Hurliman said.

Hurliman said the river is expected to reach higher levels than it did in March, or during Hurricane Irene.

In Oxford, staff writer Tony Spinelli reports that flood waters are encroaching at least five properties on the banks of the river along Route 34.

Information from 7:30 a.m. follows:

The National Weather Service announced Thursday morning the potential for flooding has increased along low-lying areas of the Housatonic River below the Stevenson Dam in Oxford, Shelton, Seymour and Derby.

The river was at 15.4 feet at 7 a.m. today (Thursday, Sept. 8). The flood stage is 11 feet. Forecasters are predicting the river will rise to 16.3 feet by 2 p.m. Click here for current river conditions.

Houses in the Maples section of Shelton start to see flooding on their properties at about 15 feet.

The non-stop rain in the northeast is to blame. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning at 6:21 a.m. Thursday, upgrading the potential flooding from minor to moderate.

The Housatonic River is expected to be above its flood stage through Friday.

Click here for more information from the National Weather Service.

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