Norfolk Under State of Emergency

A cell of hard rain hit Norfolk yesterday afternoon, dumping seven inches of water in South Norfolk and washing out roads in several areas or making them unstable. 

First Selectman Matt Riiska said Route 272 in South Norfolk is impassable from Old Goshen to Bruey roads and that numerous roads, bridges and culverts are washed out.

The bridges at Old Goshen Road and on Smith Road are gone. Public Works Superintendent Troy LeMere said Parker Hill Road is in bad shape with “a lot of water, trees and wires down and that several dirt roads washed out and impassable.”

LeMere said 2.5 inches of rain fell in the town center and that seven inches were recorded in South Norfolk. South Norfolk was further inundated when a beaver dam let go.

Riiska asked residents to “be smart and stay home,” not venturing forth to look at the damage.

The town has declared a state of emergency. The fire department manned the firehouse overnight to monitor rainfall. 

The agencies contacted many residents last evening who are isolated due to the road closures and will continue wellness checks today. Tobey Pond has been closed for the day.

LeMere said more rain is expected today and town crews are monitoring the state of the infrastructure. “More roads are being damaged as we speak,” he said, adding that rain was predicted for Sunday but that town officials had no idea of the intensity of the impending storm. “Within 90 minutes five inches was reported in South Norfolk,” he said.

It is the second time in nine months that Norfolk has declared a state of emergency. The massive gas spill last November caused disruptions that have extended to this day. “The fortunate thing is we all know the drill,” said Riiska, “and our Public Works and EMS are on it. I have no doubt we are in good hands.”

He has contact State Rep. Maria Horn informing her that the town will seek assistance.

Riiska said that it will take a long time for the town to correct all the damage to roadways and thanked residents in advance for their patience and cooperation. LeMere said he has contractors lined up for Tuesday to start to make roads passable.

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