Flooding concerns as snow melts, rain falls rapidly

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Side streets created a precarious mess Friday for those walking and driving.

Danica Graham traversed a snow mound at the intersection of Whalley Avenue and Norton Street to avoid flooding in the roadway.

“It’s extremely difficult!” Graham said.

Graham slipped and fell on a side street and said crews need to do a better job putting down salt.

“They need to so people aren’t slipping and falling,” Graham said.  “It’s really hard to get around and I feel terribly for those who are elderly or have trouble walking.”

Kevin Bogan was riding his bike to work, splashing through deep puddles.

“It’s crazy and it’s hard to get to work, but I have to make it work – we all do,” Bogan said.

Ahead of heavy rainfall, crews with New Haven’s Dept. of Public Works started early Friday, pushing back piles of snow to prevent Whalley Avenue from flooding. The director of the DPW, Jeffrey Pescosolido said they’re focusing on heavily traveled areas.

“We have 10 plus crews throughout the city of New Haven really concentrating on historically known flooding areas,” Pescosolido said.

However, with rapid snow melt and fast accumulating rain, it’s tough just to keep up as intersections transform into icy ponds.

“The heavy rains of course are a concern with the traveling public,” Pescosolido said. “People tend to swerve away from the puddles and closer to the center line.”

The DPW says storm drains clogged with snow, debris and leaves are a great concern when it comes to flooding.

“This time of year they can be a problem because of the accumulation of snow and also with leaves falling down late in the fall,” Pescosolido added.

Some who live in New Haven, including Ken Brandon praised the work of the crews with boots on the ground.

“It has been a rough couple days with all the snow and they’re getting it done,” Brandon said.  “They’re really doing a good job, it’s hard work, hard work.”

The DPW is also keeping an eye on icy weather Sunday and another, possible winter event early next week.  They say they are ready and have plenty of material to treat the roads and keep them safe for all.

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