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On this page you learn what types of flooding are typical in Connecticut and how do you protect yourself, your family and your home. You will also find out more about significant Connecticut floods. Finally, you'll find links to NWS offices that provide forecast and safety information for Connecticut, as well as links to our partners who play a significant role in keeping you safe

Significant Connecticut Floods

+The Great New England Hurricane of 1938

+June 1982 Floods in Connecticut

Torrential rains affected Connecticut from June 4 to 7, 1982. A large low pressure system moved up from the Gulf Coast and moved slowly up to the northeast United States, producing an exceptional amount of rainfall in the state. Up to 16 inches of rain fell in the region over 4 days, with the heaviest amounts occurring in south central Connecticut. Rainfall on Saturday, June 5, accounted for over half of that total when up to 10 inches fell. 

Preceding conditions of soil moisture and river levels were hampered by a storm the previous week, which had left up to 4 inches of rain in many of the same areas.

The rainfall resulted in numerous floods and flash floods on smaller streams though the central part of the state. The larger rivers in Connecticut, the Housatonic and Connecticut, were not as greatly impacted because their headwaters in the more northern parts of New England were not impacted by heavy rain with this event. The smaller rivers, such as the Yantic, Farmington, and Shetucket, all received significant flooding as well as many smaller streams.

The floods caused the loss of at least 11 lives. Specific reports regarding some of the deaths from this event follow. According to the June 1982 NOAA National Climatic Center Storm Report, a woman drowned as a truck was swept into Roaring Brook in East Haddam. In Putnam a woman died as a pickup truck was swept away. In Salem, a woman died as she tried to escape her stalled truck. In New London, an 8 year old was drowned in his flooded basement. In Clinton, a pedestrian was swept away to his death.

One of the ironies of this event was that one of the facilities impacted by this event was the Northeast River Forecast Center. The NERFC offices, which at that time were in Bloomfield, were flooded for a day. Forecasters had to move to other locations to work.

Estimated damages from the flooding were more than $276 million (1982 dollars). Thousands of homes were damaged.  The floods also caused significant damage to roads and bridges. This event caused over a dozen dam failures; additional dams required repairs due to the floodwaters.

Rainfall across southern New England during June 4-7, 1982
Rainfall across southern New England during June 4-7, 1982

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Flood Hasards Information

+Flash Flooding

Flash flooding is a rapid and extreme flow of high water into a normally dry area, or a rapid water level rise in a stream or creek above a predetermined flood level, beginning within six hours of the causative event (i.e., intense rainfall, dam failure, ice jam). More information...

+River Flooding

River flooding occurs when river levels rise and overflow their banks or the edges of their main channel and inundate areas that are normally dry. More information...

+Tropical Systems

At any time of year, a storm from over the ocean can bring heavy precipitation to the U.S. coasts. Whether such a storm is tropical or not, prolonged periods of heavy precipitation can cause flooding in coastal areas, as well as further inland as the storm moves on shore. More information...

+Ice/Debris Jams

A back-up of water into surrounding areas can occur when a river or stream is blocked by a build-up of ice or other debris. Debris Jam: A back-up of water into surrounding areas can occur when a river or stream is blocked by a build-up of debris. More information...

+Snowmelt

Flooding due to snowmelt most often occurs in the spring when rapidly warming temperatures quickly melt the snow. The water runs off the already saturated ground into nearby streams and rivers, causing them to rapidly rise and, in some cases, overflow their banks. More information...

+Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

A break or failure can occur with little to no warning. Most often they are caused by water overtopping the structure, excessive seepage through the surrounding ground, or a structural failure. More information...
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