Paul is a full-time fifth-grade teacher at an elementary school in Fairfield ... Paul is a New York Emmy award winner (2007), five-time Emmy nominee, and four-time winner of the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters' Association award for 'Best Weathercast' in Connecticut (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012) ... The local weather journal is a two-time winner of the Communicator Award of Distinction (2012 & 2013) ... Paul was inducted into the Housatonic Community College Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award (2012) ... Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulPiorek ...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Powerful Nor'easter Hammered Region Eight Years Ago Today

A powerful Nor'easter hammered the region eight years ago today, Sunday, April 15, 2007, causing widespread flooding, damage, and destruction to many homes and businesses across southwestern Connecticut. My basement was a disaster area, and the sight of water pouring into the cellar through the walls was alarming. Many local communities received well over a half-foot of rain in one day, including an incredible 7.50 inches in Weston.

Our viewers became an active part of the News 12 Connecticut weather team with their weather observations, comments, and photos. They always came through for us in major storms, and that day was no exception. Geoff Wood of Darien sent the adjacent photo of his home on Crimmins Road in Darien. "For us, this is the second time we have been flooded out of our house in six weeks," he wrote. Many people shared his pain.


Perhaps no picture better illustrates the destruction of the Nor'easter better than this one. Viewer Donna Dutko sent this photo of "the little pink antique store at the corner of Route 7 and Branchville Station." As you can see, the store collapsed from the force of the water and was partially submerged. The water was almost up to the railroad tracks, too.


Judy Callirgos of Redding sent many photos of the flooding on her street, in her yard, and around her home. "I live on the Saugatuck and my house was truly an island yesterday," she wrote. "I had to create a dam at the end of my driveway to divert the water." Redding also received over a half-foot of rain, leading to flooding problems throughout town.


Cynthia Zizzi of the Cos Cob section of Greenwich sent several photos along upper Valley Road in North Mianus. Cynthia wrote, "Paul, I walk my dog, Dodger, a golden retriever, every day weather permitting, and these are some of my favorite views. The best is the old foundation. I believe it was an old home or could have been part of the woolen mill that burned in 1938."


Sheridan Black of Milford forwarded some photos from Bayview Beach of waves crashing against homes along the shoreline. She wrote, "Last night (Sunday night), I decided to stay the night at my beach house with my aunt and uncle. The whole road was flooded and the water came right up to the deck. The water is usually 30 feet away from the house, and now, if I wanted to, I could stand on the deck and touch it."


Stamford recorded nearly seven inches of rain (6.84"), causing massive flooding of roads and headaches for motorists. Martin Silverman told of "the extreme road conditions at the intersection of High Ridge Road and Wire Mill." Notice the plow attempting to push the standing water off High Ridge Road near the Merritt Parkway. I've heard many stories from motorists who had to find alternate routes or who were stranded on flooded roads during the height of the flooding.


Darien received nearly a half-foot of rain (5.93"). Richard Miller took this photo of Hoyt Street Sunday afternoon, April 15, at 4 o'clock. He jokingly wrote, "I thought I would share this with you before we go for a lap swim." As you can see, driving was dangerous just about everywhere.


New Canaan was another community which received nearly a half-foot of rain (5.40"). John Festo sent us several pictures of Mill Pond overflowing its banks. It almost looks as though the force of the raging water is about to cover the bridge and send it sailing downstream. Also, the banks of the river were already flooded.


The view from Fairfield Beach was wet and windy. Kathy wrote, "This is a view of my backyard. I live one block from Fairfield Beach on Reef Road. My yard is flooded from the rain only, and now we are waiting for high tide to see if we need to evacuate. It was so windy we could lean into the wind, and it held us up." Fairfield was one of the communities which received well over a half-foot of rain (6.55") in one day.


I'm sure you'll never forget the Nor'easter of Sunday, April 15, 2007. I know I won't.