Flooding In Glastonbury, Wrong Time Of Year

Aug 31, 2011

Rivers across Connecticut are falling after hitting their highest levels in decades, but local officials are reporting only minor flooding in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, water-logged roads brought onlookers in Glastonbury. Bill Allen is taking his dog Callie for a walk.  In the distance is the landing for the ferry across the Connecticut River.  In the foreground are flooded fields.  Allen says he's seen worse. ALLEN:  I've seen it up to almost the top of the hill there. COHEN: Oh, really. ALLEN:  Yeah, back in '36. COHEN: When was the last time it was this high? ALLEN:  Oh, here?  It comes up every Spring here.  This is freshet. There are tomato plants and other crops here, some of them under water.  Scott Dufford rode his motorcycle up to check things out.  He grew up just down the road, where his father farms tobacco. "I've seen it higher than this.  I know that house has gotten flooded before." Dufford says farmers around here are used to flooding.  They're just not used to flooding in the late summer, when it's nearly time to harvest. "They expect it in the Spring but not this time of year. we actually raise tobacco.  My dad raises 30 acres right down the road here. But his crop has been taken in already.  But it's just the way he planned it.  If he happened to plant, this being the last crop, it would be underwater.  Part of it." Here's another thing that's different -- the water itself. "The only thing is since I've been alive, I don't think I've ever seen this water this dirty. And I think it's all 'cause of what happened in Vermont.  I've never seen it this dirty and so much debris floating down." Minor flooding was reported in Middletown and Portland along the Connecticut River and in Simsbury along the Farmington River. The Connecticut River in Hartford crested at 24.8 feet Tuesday evening, the highest level since 1987. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.