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MDC releases statement on recent Hartford flooding that left people stuck in flood waters

HARTFORD —  Officials were very busy Wednesday night in the North End of Hartford after numerous people were stuck in flood waters due to severe weather.

FOX61’s Photojournalist Michael Howard captured EXCLUSIVE video that caught national attention of officials rescuing people in flooded waters:

Following the water rescue, Hartford's Mayor Luke Bronin spoke to FOX61 on the matter:

On the following day, FOX61's Matt Caron spoke to residents impacted by the flooding, all in which demanded action.

FOX61's Zinnia Maldonado spoke EXCLUSIVELY with a woman who made the initial 911 call:

On Friday, Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer, Kerry E. Martin, released the following statement to FOX61:

It is important to note that in the areas upstream of this Granby Street neighborhood, Wednesday night’s significant rainfall amount, coupled with the short period of time in which the rain fell, resulted in a rate of rainfall equivalent to that of a 32-99 year storm (data obtained from the National Weather Service Advance Hydrologic Prediction Service at water.weather.gov/precip/).

The industry standard for stormwater collection systems is for them to be sized to handle a rain event equivalent to a 10-20 year storm. It would simply be cost prohibitive, and in many cases physically impractical, to size a storm system for rain events above that standard threshold.

During this “flash-flooding” event, the storm system was overwhelmed, which,

in part, resulted in the street flooding in the area.

I would like to point out that it is not completely accurate to say that the flooding was due to an “MDC issue with a catch basin” as quoted in the Fox61 article.  While it is the responsibility of MDC to clean and maintain the sanitary sewers and the wells of the storm system catch basins in the area, it is clear that even if there was an issue with one catch basin, it would not have caused this level of flooding.

Also, it is the responsibility of the City of Hartford to: 1) clean and maintain the grate covers of the storm system catch basins; 2) sweep the streets to remove debris that can accumulate on the grate covers of these catch basins; and 3) clean and maintain the storm outfalls located in the area to keep them free of overgrowth, fallen trees, silt buildup, etc., so storm water can flow freely into the watercourses intended to receive it. As always, we continue to work with the City on a regular basis to maintain storm system catch basins to ensure they remain free flowing and clean of debris that might inhibit acceptance of storm water; regardless, the level of this storm was too severe for the storm system in the area to handle.

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