Nearly 9 inches of rain from Ida recorded in Darien, first selectman says

Photo of Katrina Koerting

DARIEN — First Selectman Jayme Stevenson has declared a local emergency for the town following the widespread flooding overnight into Thursday.

Stevenson said in a release that the town experienced “catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Ida.” She said the town received more than eight inches of rain between 7 p.m. on Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday.

Early on Thursday, Stevenson reported on Twitter that the town had received 8.94 inches of rain during that time.

“Darien, along with communities across the tri-state region, is experiencing unprecedented flooding tonight,” Stevenson tweeted overnight. “Many roads are impassable making travel around town impossible. Stay off the roads so emergency workers can respond as needed.”

On Thursday, Stevenson said the Emergency Operations Center was fully activated and operating without interruption overnight. The town’s sheltering plan was also activated to host evacuated residents Wednesday night.

Darien Police responded to 21 weather-related incidents, including two rescues for vehicles in floodwater, she said.

“We have a number of downed trees, utility wires and road closures of Casement Street and Tokeneke Road at the I-95 interchange where the roadway has washed out,” Stevenson said in her update. “Several small bridges to homes have been damaged. Thankfully no Darien residents or emergency responders were injured in the storm.”

Pictures filled social media of flooded streets and partially submerged cars.

Stevenson shared a picture of the Post Road underpass, saying she had never seen it this flooded before.

Eversource reported 253 customers, or about 3.12 percent of the town, didn’t have power shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday. That number rose to 370, or about 4.57 percent of the town’s customers around 5 p.m.

The town also announced Pear Tree and Weed Beaches were closed for swimming on Thursday because of the heavy rains

Stevenson said Ida brought the same amount of rainfall Tropical Storm Elsa did on July 9 but in half the time, which caused “much higher flood levels.”

She said while Elsa caused “significant localized damage” in Darien, it didn’t rise to the level of a state emergency declaration.

Gov. Ned Lamont declared a state emergency for Ida on Thursday, which Stevenson said she wasn’t surprised to see.

“We are confident the impacts of Ida will trigger a Gubernatorial Emergency Declaration given the devastation statewide,” she had said Thursday morning.

Anyone whose home or business has storm damage is encouraged to document it with a date and time stamped photographs and email them to DarienEOC@darienct.gov.

Town officials have requested onsite administrative support from Darien’s Regional Department of Emergency Management to help and will advise the community if and when in-person assistance is available.

“Our Emergency Management Team, town hall staff and I are here to help if you need help,” Stevenson said.