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MDC, DPW officials meet to discuss Hartford Blue Hills flooding plan

HARTFORD — More rain in the forecast for Tuesday is making Blue Hills residents nervous that they’ll be dealing with more flooding.

It took five days for city officials and MDC to meet. MDC’s Kerry Martin told FOX61 their COO met with Hartford’s DPW Director for a site visit to the Granby Street / Blue Hills neighborhood.

Their plan is to actively monitor storm-water flows Tuesday to pinpoint issues. Neither the city or MDC has been able to articulate what caused such a massive amount of flooding in that neighborhood.

Several years ago, MDC separated the sanitary system from the storm-water system on that street, a move thought to alleviate flooding.

“We need to meet with MDC and see what happened. I though we corrected all the flooding issues,” said City Engineer Frank Dellaripa.

MDC said last Wednesday’s storm brought rainfall equivalent to that of a 32-99 year storm. The storm-water system is only able to handle a 10-20 year storm. MDC said, “It would simply be cost prohibitive, and in many cases, physically impractical, to size a storm system for rain events above the standard threshold.”

In Hartford,  the city and MDC share responsibility for the storm-water system. Hartford DPW Director Walter Veselka said, “Our responsibility is all the area above ground to keep the street swept and to keep the tops of the catch basins open.”

The city admits the storm-water system and flood control system is outdated and based on technology from the 1930’s. They said the pumping stations need to be manned manually. They are only staffed on an as needed basis due to past budget cuts. Hartford is working with a $5 million state grant to make some improvements.

“We watch the weather and then our staff that’s part of the flood Control will decide whether we need to keep staff on,” said Vaselka.

Hartford DPW told FOX

61 they plan to keep some people working overtime Tuesday to be able to respond to issues faster.

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