Northern suburbs, Conn. feel effects of storm

March 11, 2011 2:31:17 PM PST
It's tough to get around north of New York City Friday, with flooded roads and washed out streets.

"It's a mess over there, it's another world on that side," Oxford resident Eric Robertstad said.

It took four days before Robertstad could even survey the damage.

The flood waters that once completely covered his jeep finally went down, only to rise again overnight.

The Housatonic crested 10 feet above flood stage, sending water into basements of riverside homes in Oxford, Derby and Shelton.

The water receded several feet ahead of the latest storm, but some vehicles remained submerged.

In Westchester, the Bronx River Parkway, Sprain Brook Parkway, Saw Mill Parkway, Hutchinson River Parkway, Cross Westchester Expressway, Taconic State Parkway, and the New York State Thruway all have closures due to flash flooding.

There were also more local roads flooded out in Westchester, including Route 119 in Greenburgh, Route 22 in Bedford and Route 9A in Ossining.

In Rockland, Route 17 and Route 59 have closures due to weather.

Oxford town officials continue to monitor levels at the Stevenson Dam, which is used to generate power, not to control the flow of water. Still, officials say they want to better anticipate the overflows that led to evacuations.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered Connecticut's emergency operations center to open to handle potential problems. The center opened at 11 p.m. Thursday and is coordinating responses.

Riders of Metro-North from Danbury, Bethel and Redding are being forced to use bus service as the railroad continues to rebuild earth and rock underneath the tracks that were washed out in the storm earlier this week.

The embankment of stone, dirt, and gravel used for decades to support the track was washed away Sunday. The affected area runs along an industrial park.

The washout was discovered less than an hour before the first train was scheduled to depart Monday morning.

A crew sent out to inspect the track came upon the damage between the Bethel and Redding stations on the Danbury branch of the New Haven line.

"It could have been catastrophic," Metro-North's John Longobardi said.

Materials are being trucked in as railroad crews dig in for what will be a lengthy repair. The railroad expects to have the Danbury line reopened sometime next week.

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