Though Danny is faltering over colder water offshore, the weakening tropical storm is still expected to dump a lot of rain on Connecticut before it moves on.
To prepare for the potential flooding, city officials are handing out sandbags, priming pumps and making sure that equipment is ready to roll in case it’s needed.
“Everybody’s going over checklists,” Mayor Art Ward said Friday.
With forecasters predicting periods of heavy rain, residents in flood-prone sections of the city – particularly along Copper Mine Brook – are hoping the water doesn’t rise too much this time.
Officials announced Friday that sandbags were available at firehouses on Mix Street and Vincent P. Kelly Road. The latter also had sand piled outside the neighboring animal shelter.
Some residents were taking advantage the opportunity, officials said. Ward said many just want a few bags to block off doors that can let water flow in if creeks rise outside.
The first bouts of heavy rain began falling Friday. The rain is expected continue into Saturday, making for a potentially soggy end to August.
The threat of rain led officials to cancel a number of events this weekend, including a major community health rally at Rockwell Park.
Though flooding hasn’t been too bad the last couple of years, there were at least four serous floods in Bristol between 2004 and 2007.
The main cause, experts have said, is that open space is vanishing, creating fewer places to sop up the water and speeding its flow downstream into creeks that never had to handle so much flow in decades past.
Ward has asked U.S. Rep. John Larson, the East Hartford Democrat whose 1st District includes Bristol, to try to secure federal money and help for Bristol’s flooding problems. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already indicated it may be able to help.
Ward said Friday the city is waiting on word about federal funding for a $350,000 study to pinpoint what it needs to do.
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