Town of Haddam declares state of emergency due to flooding

Ice chunks at Harpers Landing in Haddam (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH) — The town of Haddam declared a state of emergency Thursday due to flooding from snow and ice melt.

First Selectman Lizz Milardo filed the declaration Wednesday night, citing that the town’s resources are unable to keep up with the effects of flooding and ice dams. The request is necessary for Haddam to become eligible for state and federal assistance.

Web Extra: Read First Selectman Milardo’s Emergency Declaration

2018 01 18 haddam ice jam 1 Town of Haddam declares state of emergency due to flooding
Large Ice chunks on the Connecticut River near the East Haddam Bridge (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

Ice jams have created problems for several communities along the Connecticut River, with several large ice chunks piling up near East Haddam Bridge.

Residents have been flooded out of their homes, and some roads are impassable because of the ice. Penni Romano stated, “The whole place is flooded. The road is flooded and it’s iced over and I can’t drive it.”

Laura Angiolillo added, “High tide basically ended in our front yard…We got it from the river in the back as well as water coming this way.”

Related Content: Ice jams continue to cause problems along Connecticut rivers

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Ice jams along the Connecticut River contain ice pieces more than one foot thick (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

One Haddam resident said, “There’s a lot of concern for the homeowners here. They have docks and the big chunks of ice…and several people have lost pylons that hold the docks together.”

Angiolillo said, “When the water comes in all you can do is wait for the tide to go back out.”

Some ice pieces that washed ashore in Haddam are more than a foot thick, which is why the Coast Guard Cutter Bollard could not make it past Essex on Tuesday.

Related Content: Two Coast Guard icebreakers tackle the frozen Connecticut River

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Large chunks of ice moving down the Connecticut River through East Haddam (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

The Coast Guard is making progress, but it’s a slow process. Milardo added, “There’s three sections of ice. Right now they’re in the Essex Cove area and they’re trying to work their way.”

Residents who live near the swing bridge are worried about the unknown. Romano said, “We are in a flood zone so it is going to flood. I’ve been here 20 years, and in 20 years it has probably flooded about 10 times. Flooding where there’s 18 inches of water inside the house.”

Related Content: Ice jam creating huge problems for residents along Connecticut River

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Large ice pieces flow down the Connecticut River as temperatures rise (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

Warmer temperatures this weekend could help melt the ice and loosen the jams.

“For right now, it is really a wait and see,” Milardo said. “Which is probably the most frustrating thing because you want to be able to do something and there’s not much to do.”

Related Content: Ice jam moves through East Haddam

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