Friday Flashback #114

Last weekend’s nor’easter brought flooding — again — to many parts of town. Main Street was spared this time.

Downtown was not so lucky last month, though. Torrential downpours on consecutive Tuesdays sent water pouring into stores on both side of the road.

Merchants and shoppers think these floods happen more frequently these days.


But there’s no doubt that flooding on Main Street is not new.

Alert “06880” reader James Gray sent this photo. It was taken at 2 p.m. on August 31, 1954. Hurricane Carol had just roared through town. Packing winds of 110 miles an hour, it headed toward landfall in eastern Connecticut.

The sun was already out in Westport. But — in a ritual as unwelcome in 2018 as in 1954 — the cleanup had just begun.

11 responses to “Friday Flashback #114

  1. I knew about the 1955 flood, but I didn’t know that there had been a flood in 1954 as well. Ironically, both floods were caused by “C” hurricanes, Carol in 1954 and Connie in 1955 (quickly followed by Diane).

  2. Arline Gertzoff

    I can never forget Hurricane Carol Water 💦 up to the cellar door No electric Sterno stove Romanian grandparents totally dumb founded .learned all the curse words in Romanian.My late Father owned the cleaner opposite Famous Artists /Save the Children My father uncle and grandfather shoved all they could into the airtight vault They slept on the
    Counter tops My late uncle figured out when the dam in Seymour would break They sandbagged and prayed.They held my little brother by the legs so he could smash a window and turn a valve off
    By some miracle the heavy water flow stopped at the front door and the business was saved with only minor damage A fire dept captain lived on our street and had all the basements pumped out .All etched in my memory.Still have a bar rail fetched out of the Norwalk River when downtown Norwalk floated away.

  3. The climate change of 54′ and 55’….

    • Is this the conclusive proof we need to finally prove that climate change isn’t happening, the oceans aren’t warming up, the ice caps aren’t melting, sea levels aren’t rising and that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doesn’t relate to any of this or that it doesn’t matter what we do to pollute our atmosphere with tons of carbon??

      Let me know when we can finally get rid of the emission control stuff on our cars?

      • Or is it conclusive proof that if the exact same hurricanes were to hit today, climate change would be the cause… and anyone who dared to comment must obviously be a denier of the guaranteed predicted future catastrophic- only climate scenarios that are based on averaged climate sensitivity, derived from imperfect computer models and then used to create policies that are predicted to fix the predictions.

        • So I guess the question is – if hurricanes also occurred in the 50’s and 60’s should we be switching to solar, wind and geothermal power sources as quickly as possible or just keep on doing business as usual and continue putting carbon into the atmosphere?

          • We should use all available power sources since oil and gas are finite resources…
            What does that have to do with the hurricanes of 54′ or 55′ or the 60’s or any of the historical storms between 1635 to 1890?

            • Most scientists are saying -The hurricanes of 54′ or 55′, the 60’s and any of the historical storms between 1635 to 1890- will get more frequent and more severe because of climate change.

              I agree with you- We should use all available power sources since oil and gas are finite resources and logically we should replace oil and gas as prime energy sources as soon as possible if only so as to conserve them.

              We should be switching to solar, hydro, geothermal and renewables as soon as possible- with or without government rules as most industries are doing- but government rules would speed the process along.

              My fears of climate change- have been declared debatable. Most Democrats and most scientists think it is destroying our planet. Many Republicans and President Trump disagree and have said it is a Chinese hoax.

              I guess we all get to pick sides on this. But our children and grandchildren will be the ones who will reap what we choose to sow.

  4. Nancy Powers Conklin

    I remember Hurricane Carol. I was sitting on our basement steps watching my parents pour buckets of water out into the back yard. What a mess!

  5. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    I remember it well also. No dramatic stories to relate as we lived on Calumet Road at the time. My Grandmother’s house in Owenoke did not flood either year.

  6. Bonnie Scott Connolly

    I remember Hurricane Carol because my sister’s name was Carol. We were looking out the kitchen window during the hurricane and a tree on the hill behind our house fell. We watched as the very top of the tree brushed our house. Phew. It was a close call.