In 1955, Connecticut experienced catastrophic flooding that killed more than eighty people. Two back-to-back hurricanes - Connie and Diane - dropped over two feet of rain across Connecticut. The rains overwhelmed the Naugatuck, Farmington, and Quinebaug Rivers and their tributaries too quickly for many to escape its wrath. After the flood, Connecticut enacted flood control measures that led to several new dams.
While many of Connecticut's dams still play a vital role for things like flood control and hydropower, most of our over 4,000 dams are a remnant of Connecticut's industrial past. Most were made of stone and earth before modern engineering methods were used; at least 277 of them are in a state of disrepair considered by the state to pose a high hazard if they break.
With today's weather patterns, its not such a stretch for us to believe we could be in the path of another Irene, Sandy or maybe a Connie.
- Art Christian - Supervising Civil Engineer, Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Dam Safety Unit
- Howard Epstein - Emeritus professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut
- Stephen Gephard - Supervising Fisheries Biologist for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Fisheries Division
- Armin Moehrle - Partner in CantonHydro
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on October 25, 2018.