Wednesday rainfall could cause ice jams, flooding
With rain expected Wednesday, it’s possible the state will see some flooding and possibly ice jams — which plagued the Kent area last January.
“The Housatonic River — a lot of it is frozen pretty solid,” said Bill Jacquemin, a meteorologist at Connecticut Weather Center in Danbury.
He said the rain and warmer temperatures means it’s likely the frozen ice will break and some areas might see “ice jams like last year.”
Jacquemin said residents near water should be alert and keep an eye on rise water levels that could lead to flooding as well.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for all of Connecticut through Thursday afternoon.
“Rain will move into southern New England tonight and continue through Thursday,” the NWS said. “Rainfall may be heavy at times. By the time the rain tapers off, Southern New England will receive 1 to 2 inches of rain. The high rainfall rates may cause flash flooding as well as urban and poor drainage flooding.”
A snowstorm Saturday into Sunday brought snow, ice, freezing rain, sleet and wind to Connecticut. Following the storm were temperatures so dangerously cold, officials were warning residents to limit their time outside for fear of hypothermia or frostbite.
The rain expected Wednesday into Thursday will fall on frozen snow and frozen ground — meaning most of it won’t be absorbed into the ground.
Instead, Jacquemin said, the rain will melt the ice and snow that was left from the weekend storm and several inches of water run off will spill into rivers and streams and make them rise.
“By tomorrow (Wednesday) night with this rain and these temperatures, it’s not going to thaw the ice out, it’s just going to break the ice,” Jacquemin said. “We don’t often have to worry about that except in the spring.”
On Jan. 13, 2018, several Kent residents were evacuated from their homes because of flooding from the Housatonic River. Law enforcement had to shut down Route 7 between Route 341 and Bulls Bridge Road that same day. That stretch of roadway didn’t reopen until five days later.
The ice jam in 2018 took days to thaw, and was able to do so with consistent temperatures in the area of 40 degrees and a bit of precipitation.