Greenwich may have dodged a bullet last weekend, but with more rain on the way, town officials are concerned the Byram River may flood.
One of the challenges in a town like ours, we have lots of small streams, and even the bigger streams are small, so when they flood, they flood faster, said Denise Savageau, town Conservation Commission director.
The rivers gauge measured six feet early Monday morning, the highest since it was implemented in 2009. We dont know where the breaking point is, Savageau said. And I hate to say it, but we wont know until the river floods.
Michael Finkbeiner , an environmental consultant, said he has been trying to get the town to focus on flood prevention steps for the Byram River for years. We need a focus on emergency water management, he said. This mean keeping the low flow from flowing too low and the peak flow from peaking too high. Finkbeiner added the town needs to find a temporary storage solution for water before levels peak and floods become inevitable.
Last fall, the town reached an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers to fund a study of flood control along the Byram River. The Army Corps agreed to match the towns $200,000 fund for the study, which will explore flooding issues and suggest ways to lessen potential damage and future flooding.
Its still a learning process, and we dont have much leeway, said Savageau. Were trying to get residents to understand this.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch from early Thursday morning through Friday morning for Fairfield County, including Greenwich. Rainfall amounts of two to four inches are possible Thursday into early Friday.
The National Weather Service said that because rivers and streams are at high levels and soil is supersaturated, high runoff rates and flooding are possible.
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