And The Answer Is…

Yesterday, “06880” wondered what’s up with a contraption recently attached to the side of the downtown Post Road bridge.

Speculation poured in. Some readers were serious. Others were (we hope) joking.

Within hours, the mystery was solved. According to 1st Selectman Jim Marpe:

Steve Doig wins the prize for best response.  The U.S. Geological Survey is installing a network of tidal gauge and storm surge monitoring stations for coastal Connecticut, and they just installed this device on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

It was funded entirely at the federal level.  Westport’s outstanding emergency management director (and fire chief), Andy Kingsbury, has been working with the USGS and other state and federal agencies to improve our storm surge monitoring, warning, mitigation  and prevention capabilities. The http address in Steve’s posting is the correct one for accessing real-time data on the Saugatuck River height at Post Road.

Thanks, Jim — for letting us know, and keeping Westport safe.

Thanks too to Steve, for nailing the answer. What’s particularly impressive is that the 1960s Staples athletic star has spent the past 18 years in Phoenix. He’s the Knight Chair in Journalism professor at Arizona State University.

A place where no one worries about high tides or storm surges.

The mystery has been solved.

The mystery has been solved.


7 responses to “And The Answer Is…

  1. Another Class of ’66 grad comes to the fore…

  2. Thanks for the attaboy, Dan. But I have to admit I recognized the gadget because we do have them out here in the desert. No high tides or storm surges, but flash floods occur with some regularity. A thunderstorm miles away can drop enough water to turn a dry wash into a fast-rising torrent in minutes. We even have a “stupid motorist” law that requires anyone who gets stuck while trying to cross a flooded dip in the road to pay for their rescue. (From what I read in 06880, Westport could use such a law for dinging entitled drivers who do other kinds of stupid things!)

  3. Kirsten Woods

    Every time I drive by that gadget I think “when is it going to b on 06880”

  4. Sven Davidson

    Mr. Marpe should be advised for his geographic file that Connecticut has no coastline; only shoreline.

  5. Thanks, Stephen: How does it work?

    -Chris Woods

  6. That big dark tube underneath the aluminum box holds what basically is the equivalent of a toilet bowl float. As the water rises or falls, the float moves and the instruments in the box measure the change. The current readings are continuously sent up to the mother ship by the antenna jutting out of the side.

  7. Thanks for the follow up with the correct answer.