Yalesville mobile home complex flooded, forcing some rescues

YALESVILLE - Thursday's deluge left many communities flooded and that includes a mobile home park in the Yalesville section of Wallingford.

Residents in the over 85 mobile homes and apartments, in Yalesville Square, were not required to evacuate, but most did. Some were rescued by a fire department boat.

The conditions steadily improved throughout the day Friday, but Wallingford Deputy Fire Chief Joe Czentnar says it's probably the worst flooding the mobile home park has experienced in some 15 years.

Flooding? Some people had places to be.

"I am going to work," said Chris McKercher, a 20 year resident of the complex, as he sloshed his way, on foot, though at least 18 inches of water. But, at least he rolled up his pants. "Got my sandals on," he said with a smile.

Yesterday's heavy rains resulted in waters reaching three to four feet deep in some parts of the flooded Yalesville Square

"With four inches of rain and frozen ground, the river came up very quickly," said Dep. Chief Czentnar.

The Quinnipiac River, located behind the complex, crested early this morning. Swamp land across Main St. (Rt 150) washed over the road and into the complex, exacerbating the problem.

"I actually didn’t even know there was such a bad problem, but I saw flashing lights everywhere and then somebody came and said you need to move your car or you’ll lose it," said resident Karen Buccini.

After moving her car to higher ground, Buccini was among the over 30 residents that opted to stay. "I have three animals," she said.

One longtime resident, who stayed elsewhere last night, was eager to get back into he mobile home late this morning.

"I need to get some medication, plus I use a CPAP machine so I can sleep, but I also want to make sure my cats are OK," said resident Nadine Bontatibus.

There was no reported damage to any of the mobile homes or apartments on the property, most of which use propane for heat and cooking.

"As a precaution we shut off the propane to all the tanks because a floating propane tank could potentially be very hazardous," noted Dep. Chief Czentnar.

But, with the water receding throughout the day Friday, at a rate of a couple of inches an hour, propane had been restored to most residences before 4 pm.

"Everybody should be back in and relatively back to normal in their homes here by later this afternoon, before gets dark," said Dep. Chief Czentnar late Friday morning.

The mobile home park's manager says two built in pumps - one that removes roughly 500 gallons per minute and the other, which handles about 200 gallons per minute, were no match for the rapidly rising water.

Right next door to Yalesville Square is a daycare center, which just opened a couple of weeks ago. Several children were evacuated for that facility Thursday because water was flooding their basement.

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