Darien Stop & Shop, other businesses remain closed after Ida

Photo of Katrina Koerting

DARIEN — Parts of town are still recovering from last week’s storm that dumped inches of rain and caused widespread flooding.

A number of businesses remain closed as they clean up the damage and await on an already delayed supply line to get the items needed. Some residents are also staying with friends or family because their homes were deemed “inhabitable” after the storm, First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson said.

“This comes right on the heels of our community experiencing catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Elsa,” Stevenson said. “Other communities didn’t get it as hard as we did back in July.”

She said Darien received just as much rain as it did in Elsa, but in half the time, creating significant flooding. She said the rain gauges in town registered as much rain in the first three hours of the storm as a 500-year storm, “which is unheard of.”

Stop & Shop announced its Darien location in the Goodwives Shopping Center will be closed for eight days due to the impact of Ida, but will reopen Friday.

“Since the closure, Stop & Shop associates and contracted crews have been working diligently to mitigate damage to the store and welcome our customers back quickly,” said Maura O’Brien, a company spokesperson. “When our store reopens on Friday, customers can be assured that all product that was affected by the floodwaters has been discarded, and all perishable departments have been stocked with fresh, new product.”

She said the employees have been able to work at other nearby locations.

Customers are being directed to the Norwalk location in the meantime.

Hindley Elementary School also remained closed. It was set to open on Tuesday, but the reopening was pushed back to Thursday due to the demand for contractors.

“As scheduled, the electrical work has been completed and the system has been verified safe by a licensed electrician,” Superintendent Alan Addley said in a letter to families on Monday. “The building inspector has received the report and will be on site at the Hindley School tomorrow, Tuesday, to review the completed work. Regrettably, the school reopening is now scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 9 to permit another outside contractor to complete cleanup in the school’s basement which received significant water damage.”

He said Wednesday was the soonest a contractor was able to do the work, which would have been “too much of a disruption” if school was in session.

Stevenson asked residents and business owners to document the damage and send it to darieneoc@darienct.gov, so the state and federal governments can issue the needed disaster declarations to get relief money to help the recovery.

She said the town is still in the process of collecting the data of everyone affected.

The town will also hold a public meeting on Sept. 20 to gather input from people affected in town. There will also be a question-and-answer session with some of the local experts on flooding and how to address it.

“We want to identify these things — what we can be doing,” Stevenson said.