Norwalk: Five Mile River Tour Results

After typing that headline, I was ready to list sculling results, but alas, echoing what DPW director Hal Alvord said, the CT DEP claimed the dam removal of a few years ago did not cause additional flooding.

From the Hour:

Building a dike, channel or other device to stem flooding along the Five Mile River would require a cost-benefit analysis, according to state and federal officials who toured the area Tuesday afternoon.
“It has to meet the cost-benefit (analysis),” said Chris Hatfield, a project manager in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ New England District Office, speaking to about 40 residents gathered at the West Norwalk Meeting House. “If the benefits outweigh the costs, the government can get involved.”

Hatfield said the Army Corps offers two technical assistance programs, in effect, consulting. Anything built by the Corps would entail a cost share. Larger projects require congressional backing and funding, he said.

Among those listening were West Norwalk Association board member Robert Wagman; state Sen. Bob Duff, D-25, majority whip; a representative of state Rep. Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-142, minority leader; Director of Public Works Harold F. Alvord; Common Council President Fred A. Bondi; Planning Commissioner Walter O. Briggs; and Mayor Richard A. Moccia.

Moccia said afterward that the city will seek technical assistance from the Corps. He said the city must determine how many homes are affected in the Five Mile River flood-plain area and look for immediate solutions.

“We’re going to sit down with Bob (Wagman) and Conservation Commissioners and see what we can do to come up with an acceptable plan to correct the situation,” Moccia said. “We need a coordinated effort. We don’t want to do it piecemeal.”

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Wagman and other residents showed Hatfield and Arthur Christian, supervisor of the Inland Water Resources Division of the state Department of Environmental Protection, eroded riverbanks and damage to properties on Bonnybrook Road and Trail, and Morehouse and Watering lanes.

“Everyone along here has suffered some damage,” Wagman said.

Off Prince’s Pine Road, Rick DiPasquale pointed to where a century- old dam was largely removed three years ago. DiPasquale said the DEP found the dam unsafe and gave residents the option of repairing or removing it. Lacking repair funds, they opted to have the dam lowered to a level deemed safe by the state.

“Since they’ve taken down the dam, erosion has increased dramatically,” DiPasquale said.

Those living immediately upstream of the dam lost their pond. Those downstream now experience “unmanageable flows” during rainstorms, such as the April 15 Nor’easter, according to DiPasquale.

While some residents would like to see the dam rebuilt, doing so would not eliminate flooding, according to Christian, a technical advisor to the state’s dam safety program.

source: The Hour, Neighbors seek flood advice from Army Corps of Engineers, by , November 28, 2007


  1. Dam or no dam

    One of the reasons there is river flooding (not just in West Norwalk) on each of the rivers flowing into Norwalk is over development up stream.

    I know people who have homes along Rte 7 and flooding has occurred the past few years into homes that had no flooding in the hundred previous years. They have had to repair their homes from major flood damage more than once in the past two years.

    Looks like West Norwalk is getting the squeeky wheel treatment. How about looking at the real causes and don’t forget the neighborhoods who can point to real infrastructure failure as a cause of their flooding problems. Let’s be fair to the other residents of the city, not just the rich neighborhoods. Where is Darien on this issue? Are they pitching in?

  2. Watchingandlistening

    The initiative for the visit of State DEP personnel came from the West Norwalk Association and their board member Bob Wagman, not from city or state representatives. After discussion at the November WNA meeting with neighbors who had the flooding problems, the WNA asked Bob to contact the appropriate people to get them down to look at the problem.
    If you live in West Norwalk and are not a member of WNA, you should join with your neighbors who look out for each other and through the Coalition of Neighborhood Associations for the city as a whole.

  3. Watchingandlistening

    #4- Why was it necessary for you to make such a comment in response to my factual statement. You are not contributing to dialogue.

  4. East Norwalk Resident

    West Norwalk Neighborhood did it right they went out got professional people to come in and look at what’s happening and make suggestions on how to fix it. Hats off to WNA if your going to do it do it right. With (WNA) bringing in the help they did it may help out all other areas of Norwalk as well. Please join you neighborhood groups and support them if you can they do so much for each other with the things that matter, quality of life. It is sad to see some of the good ones get involved in politics for fear they will turn into politicians and turn their backs on the residents.