NORWALK, Conn. – An unprecedented high tide came to Norwalk Monday night as Hurricane Sandy forced water onto city streets, inundating a popular East Norwalk clam shack and sending a boat onto Elizabeth Street. Norwalk Police retrieved people from flooded areas with high water rescue equipment, according to dispatch traffic. Gusty winds damaged buildings, including a West Avenue church.
At midnight 64 percent of Norwalk’s CL&P customers were without power, or 29,661 homes, according to the CL&P outage map. But waters had receded and many roads had been reopened.
At around 9:30 p.m. high water had swamped Overton’s Seafood restaurant and flooded Seaview Avenue, which was closed. The intersection of Seaview Avenue and Fort Point Street was also closed by water. Woodward Avenue was flooded nearly to South Main Street; a man on the scene said he had never seen it flooded before.
Winds from Hurricane Sandy toppled a large tree at the south end of the town green, taking down a tangle of wires and blocking Park Street. Earlier, a tree blocked Highland Avenue between Soundview Avenue and Lenox Street, near the shelter at Brien McMahon High School.
Deputy Fire Chief Ed Prescott said things had quieted down around 11 p.m. At 1:30 a.m., the lights were on at the city’s sewage treatment plant, and Prescott said efforts were being made to reinstate service.
Water Street was closed. The tide had risen so high that debris was halfway down Hanford Place. The debris was closer to the harbor on Haviland and Elizabeth streets. A boat rested on its side on Elizabeth Street, causing one onlooker to compare it to a scene straight out of Hurricane Katrina.
High water was also a problem Monday afternoon. Burritt Street was flooded at Day Street. Jerrod Atkinson walked through the pond, commenting that it had never flooded before.
Damage was also seen on West Avenue. Part of the steeple of the Norwalk United Methodist Church blew off during the storm.
In the wee hours of the morning firefighters dealt with a burning railroad tie on the bridge over the Norwalk River. Embers sparked off the side of the bridge as firefighters studied the situation at about 1:45 a.m. Prescott said there was no bridge keeper on site, so shooting water from below was not an option. Two firefighters walked down the tracks to size up the situation.