'That’s more rain than I remember getting at once'

Zoe Greszler • Jul 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM

GREENWICH — Floods didn’t seem to dampen the festive spirit of Greenwich residents, despite roads and yards being turned into rivers as more than three inches of rain poured from the sky over the weekend.

The large amount of rain fell during the Greenwich Fireman’s Festival, which took place Friday through Sunday. Village administrator Virgil Giles said he believes a record amount of rain in a short period of time caused much flooding, but thankfully did little damage to village-owned property. 

The village rain gauge read that the area saw 3 inches of water fall in less than two hours. Giles said the village’s system measures and reads the water levels every 15 minutes, revealing surprising data.

“In one 15-minute interval, we had almost an inch (of rain that fell) and then in another 15 minutes it was seven-tenths of an inch,” he said. “It was a lot of rain in a short period of time. I've been here nine years and I have to say, the creek here was four to five feet higher than I’ve ever seen it before. That’s more rain than I remember getting at once.”

Giles said the village was hit especially hard since the whole season has been “constantly wet.” Prior to the weekend storms, the rainfall already had delayed or stopped underground utility work that had been planned.

“Thankfully, though, at least with the Greenwich-owned property, there wasn’t any damage this time, which is good,” the administrator said, adding that residents “got the brunt of it.”

“There was a lot of stone and debris, mulch that was moved around and washed out from driveways into the road,” he said. “Some residents said their sump pumps may not have been working correctly, so I’m sure they got some damage.”

Several roads and streets were closed as result of the high waters. Giles said street closures lasted anywhere from a short period of time to upwards of a few hours. 

“The levels of the creek definitely stayed high for a while,” he said. “It overflows and it floods the yards all at once. Then you have the second surge of water coming in from all of the (flooded) fields. That comes flowing in and then it overflows again.”

The festival, while delayed, wasn’t cancelled, and the water didn’t deter fun-seekers from showing up. 

“It was bloody mess,” Giles said of the festival grounds. “It was nothing but mud. If you were out walking around that day, you were in boots and it was definitely squishy. … But by the next day, I couldn't tell we were in a town that was flooded. It really was a flash flood.”

Giles praised the village workers and police department, saying they did a “really good job” of managing the flooding.

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