WEST HARTFORD — Just days after recovering from a deluge of rain that created widespread flooding in town, officials are now preparing for Tropical Storm Henri.
The storm on Thursday, producing four to five inches of rain per hour, verwhelmed the drainage system, causing the streets to flood, according to a press release from the town.
“Storm totals significantly exceeded forecasted projections,” officials said in the release.
Public safety added more people to respond to the high call volume, prompting officials to ask for residents’ patience and reminding them to only call 911 for emergencies.
Public Works, fire and police also brought in additional crews to help out with the storm’s aftermath.
Crews were making their way through town Thursday, taping off severely flooded roads.
“Please do not attempt to go under or pass through these blocked areas,” town officials warned. “This is a public safety measure to protect you and your vehicle. Wait until the tape is removed which indicates the road is all clear and safe to pass once again.”
Town officials are also asking residents to email descriptions, photos and videos of their flooded areas to the Office of Emergency Management at OEM@westhartfordct.gov. People should include their name, phone number, street and the closest house number to the problem spot in case the town needs to follow up.
“The town would like to make sure that we document all areas that experienced severe flooding,” the release said. “Identifying poor drainage areas helps the town of West Hartford manage and correct storm water issues.”
Officials are reminding residents to not allow children to play in standing water and to avoid touching it if possible.
“Floodwater may contain downed power lines, household, medical, and industrial hazardous waste, human and livestock waste, stray animals and other contaminants that can lead to illness,” officials warned. “Exposure to contaminated water can cause skin infections, rashes, gastrointestinal illness, or tetanus.”
Standing water is also a breeding ground for mosquitoes and people should empty or toss items that collect water, as well as use screens on windows and doors to prevent the insects from getting inside.
As the town recovered from Thursday’s storm, Tropical Storm Henri was on its way to Connecticut on Sunday.
“Town staff are preparing for this second round of storms by sweeping streets and tops of catch basins in areas that were severely flooded,” the release said, asking residents to also remove debris on catch basins near their homes. “Allowing water to flow freely will help reduce flooding.”
The Red Cross issued an advisory Thursday afternoon also asking residents to prepare because Tropical Storm Henri is expected to be a hurricane when it hits the northeast coast this weekend.