Seminara, Legislators pledge state funds for Norfolk

July 13, 2023

Seminara, Legislators pledge state funds for Norfolk

July 12, 2023

State Sen. Lisa Seminara, R-Avon, surveys flood damage in south Norfolk on Tuesday with public works Superintendent Troy LeMere, above, and Emergency Management Deputy Director Jonathan Barbagallo. Seminara and state Rep. Maria Horn, D-Salisbury, have pledged to help the town secure funds for the reconstruction of roads damaged when a swift-moving storm dumped inches of rain within 90 minutes Sunday afternoon. Contributed

NORFOLK – First Selectman Matt Riiska said things “are moving along” in the aftermath of flash flooding that severely damaged infrastructure in the south end of town Sunday.
State Sen. Lisa Seminara, R-Avon, toured the area Tuesday. She and state Rep. Maria Horn, D-Salisbury, have pledged assistance in obtaining funds for the reconstruction of washed-out roads and bridges.

“We have engaged Cardinal Engineering, which will be providing a proposal and preliminary estimates for the repair of the Smith Road and Old Goshen Road bridges,” Riiska said. “This is the first step in applying for state and federal funding.”

Detours have been established and all residents now have access to their homes on town and state roads.

“There is still plenty of cleanup, but the roads are open,” Riiska said.

The state Department of Transportation restored access to Route 272 from Bruey Road to the Goshen town line Tuesday, but the road remains closed at Esty Road. Travel north or south from that point is for local residents only. It is expected the road will not fully reopen for three to four weeks.

The local public works crew and contractors have begun restoration of Esty, Meekertown, Beckley and Windrow roads.

The most severe damage remains on Smith and Old Goshen roads, and it may take six months to a year to get those roads fully repaired. Those roads are closed at Route 272, where the road collapsed and culverts failed.

The roadbeds on Esty and Meekertown roads washed out in several locations, and Parker Hill Road needs extensive repair near Route 272.

Riiska extended his thanks to the town’s emergency management team of Richard Byrne, Jon Barbagallo and Ashley Allyn, as well as to fire department personnel for their assistance in the emergency.

IN NEIGHBORING COLEBROOK, First Selectman Chris Johnstone was thankful the damage was not as severe as in Norfolk, even though the town crew and fire department kept busy responding to downed trees, flooded cellars and washed-out roads.

Johnstone estimated 7 to 8 inches of rain fell Sunday afternoon through Monday morning.
Pisgah Mountain, Beech Hill, Old Creamery and Deer Hill roads were washed out. Pisgah Mountain is closed until further notice and Beech Hill, while passable, was “extremely washed out,” Johnstone said. “The public works department has stabilized it, but there is a lot more work to do.”

The most severe flooding along the Route 8 corridor occurred between Sandy Brook Road and Eno Hill, but the fire department and public works’ response kept property damage to a minimum.

Sandy Brook Road bridge is being replaced and the contractor estimates the effects of the storm pushed the completion date back by at least a week.