Category Archives: Weather

Pic Of The Day #1048

Signs of the times, at CVS: The bad news …

… and the good:

(Photos/Mark Mathias)

Pic Of The Day #1030

Compo Beach entrance, after today’s rain (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Floodplain Manager Saves Property — And $$$

Town employees do many things to make Westport work. They plow roads, put out fires and protect the public, to name only a few.

But they do plenty of other things no one ever sees. Like planning for floods — and then making sure residents in those areas get reductions in flood insurance.

That’s not something every town does. Only 6 other municipalities — of the 169 in Connecticut — get that break. It saves the average policyholder here $190 a year.

For that, we can thank Michelle Perillie. She’s in her 21st year with the Planning & Zoning Department. Last month she became a Certified Floodplain Manager.

Michelle Perillie

It’s not just a title. The training was rigorous; testing was tough. Perillie did it to add to her value as a town planner — and to help the many Westporters who live in flood-prone neighborhoods.

As floodplain manager, she helps manage flood resources, and mitigate flooding. She enforces the town’s flood damage prevention policies; updates flood maps, plans and policies, and administers the National Flood Insurance Program.

She offers information and resources to property owners in the 100-year floodplain. She hopes to initiate a Flood Awareness Week in Westport, and make presentations at local schools.

Perillie checks new construction, and issues elevation certificates.

She also inspects flood-prone properties. Approximately 70 homes in Westport have been raised. She makes sure that the lower levels have not been converted to living space.

It’s her work with the Community Rating (flood) System that saves Westport taxpayers all that money. Her goal is for Westport to move one tier up. That will save policyholders an additional $93 annually.

Only a handful of Connecticut towns are part of the Community Rating  System. It’s time-consuming — but clearly worthwhile.

So how prepared is Westport for big floods?

September 2018: South Morningside Drive. (Photo/Dylan Honig)

“Storms are becoming more frequent, and stronger,” the floodplain manager notes. “People have to be ready. But when a year or two passes without a major one, storms and flooding are no longer at the top of their minds.”

Many homeowners think, “I didn’t flood in the last storm. So I won’t flood unless it’s a 100-year storm.”

Yet, Perrillie explains, a 100-year storm is not one that happens once a century. It’s simply a storm with a 1% chance of happening in any given year.

Superstorm Sandy devastated Westport in 2012. And that did not meet the definition of a “100-year storm.”

Superstrom Sandy struck in October of 2012. (Photo/Mary Hoffman)

More generally, she says, the town must prepare for sea-level rise. That means making existing facilities “resilient,” as well as monitoring new construction.

State officials know what’s ahead. They’re planning for sea levels to rise up to 20 inches, by 2050.

That seems far in the future. But it’s only 30 years from now.

There’s no telling how many 100-year floods we’ll have by then.

At least Michelle Perillie can help us prepare.

Friday Flashback #177

It’s been (knock wood) a very snow-free winter.

That was not the case back in the day.

I’m not sure what year the photo above was taken. Carriages had already been replaced by automobiles. But on a day like that one, it was nice to have a horse on hand.

I don’t know the year of this one one either. But believe it or not, Greenberg’s was luckier this day than a few decades later.

In the 1960s, heavy snow collapsed the roof of the Main Street “department store.”

It never recovered, and closed shortly thereafter.

Pic Of The Day #1011

Removing snow from the YMCA addition (Photo/Ed Simek)

Pic Of The Day #1007

Saugatuck River on a snowy Sunday (Photo/Molly Alger)

Pics Of The Day #992

Westport train station, in today’s fog … (Photo/Rose Porosoff)

… and Birchwood Country Club (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Pics Of The Day #987

Today’s rain was not particularly heavy. The wind was not especially strong. But it was enough to cause these scenes down at Compo Beach.

South Beach (Photo/Chip Stephens)

The cannons (Photo/Chip Stephens)

Soundview Drive (Photo/Matt Murray)

Soundview jetty (Photo/Matt Murray)

Schlaet’s Point (Photo/Matt Murray)

The Minute Man monument (Photo/Matt Murray)

Compo Beach Road (Photo/Matt Murray)

Pics Of The Day #975

Special “morning ice in Westport” edition!

This morning’s ice, on Cross Highway …  (Photo/Tom Wambach)

… and Old Hill Road … (Photo/Joel Treisman)

… and Edgemarth Hill Road … (Photo/Nicholas Hatsiandrou)

… and Indian River Green … (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

… and Compo Beach … (Betsy P. Kahn)

… and in Greens Farms … (Photo/David Squires)

… and the Minute Man … (Photo/Tammy Barry)

… and Longshore … (Photo/Tammy Barry)

… and the Old Hill neighborhood … (Photo/Chuck Greenlee)

… and the Compo Beach playground … (Photo/Dave Dellinger)

… and Bittersweet Lane, off Cob Drive … (Photo/Ellen Patafio)

… and Greens Farms Road at Maple Avenue South … (Photo/Dick Lowenstein)

… and Highland Road … (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

… and Keenes Road … (Photo/Johanna Rossi)

… and Greens Farms Elementary School, from Crate & Barrel. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Pics Of The Day #968

Compo Beach, in this morning’s snow … (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and Nash’s Pond (Photo/Katherine Bruan)

… and Ford Road (Photo/Michael Tomashefsky)