EAST HADDAM -- What looks like a washed-out, abandoned beach was once Dennis Carlson’s front lawn and hydrangea gardens, “We love being near the rivers which has now made us very upset,” he says.
When Carlson woke up to see the power of Tuesday’s storm the artist and painter found that his cars floated off in floodwater and crashed into each other, his shed was sent across the yard and his personal belongings we’re wrapped around trees.
“When I came out here in daylight and saw it I was like I don’t even know what rock to begin picking up, it’s just a total disaster here,” says Carlson.
Nearly 8 inches of rain forced the nearby Neptune Brook to blow its bank taking out the bridge above, sending thousands of pounds of pavement and never-ending water onto Carlson’s property.
Sarah Cassenti and her family live just yards away from the now toppled bridge, “I did not know it was this bad at all, it was just crazy honestly,” she says.
Cassenti crossed the bridge just minutes before it gave way, “It just terrifies me to know, that I could’ve been there, like 15 minutes later and it could’ve collapsed right under us, so it’s very scary.”
Back in Carlson’s yard he’s left wondering what happened to the sculptures he’d crafted over decades, “I don’t even know where they are, if they are buried under mud or if they have washed into the Connecticut River I don’t even know what happened to half the stuff on this property, but all the things I thought were pretty neat have disappeared.”
He says he has no choice but to stay positive and return to what he loves.