Meriden street flooding concerns; Mayor asks for inspection into problem

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MERIDEN -- Meriden residents have mounting frustrations over street flooding that periodically comes when there are bouts of heavy rains.

Thunderstorms that pummeled parts of Connecticut Wednesday meant another round of flooding on Prescott Street in Meriden. Waters rose has high as resident’s raised front porches and nearly covered the tires of some cars.

Longtime residents said they’ve seen street flooding for decades. Some said they’ve shared their concerns with the city on the matter, but argue nothing has changed.

“Same old same old, when we get heavy rain around here, it floods,” John McLaurin, a Prescott Street resident, said. McLaurin has lived on the street for 10 years.

Bob Bass, Meriden’s Director of Public Works, said the kind of flooding seen Wednesday on the street is not a total surprise as the rain came down in high volume as a very fast pace. The city did carry out a cleaning project of the drain system last year, but Bass emphasized the age of the system is pushing a century old making it less capable of keeping up with heavy amounts of rain.

“There’s not a lot we can do, unless we were to put a major drainage system in there. And that’s a huge undertaking to try and correct every single drainage system within the city of Meriden,” Bass said.

He also said that debris and litter can block the water from every making into the catch basin and urged the residents to help clear them out when that happens.

“If you see that debris is starting to catch on the top of the catch basin take a bow rake and drag it off and put it behind so at least water could enter the catch basin, is it going to solve it 100 percent? No, but it will certainly help it,” Bass said.

Meriden’s Mayor Kevin Scarpati said that he takes this issue very seriously and that in response to Wednesday’s flooding he asked for the Department of Public Works to do a full inspection of the drain system in the Prescott Street neighborhood. He said they will look specifically into whether Wednesday’s flooding was a one-time issue due to the intense rainfall, or is this is an ongoing problem.

Scarpati also said he looked into the matter himself and found out the last time a resident complained to the city about the flooding in that neighborhood was roughly three to four years ago. He urges any residents with concerns to contact the mayor’s office directly.