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Padanaram Brook, Unseen Mostly, Ran Amuck Through Downtown Danbury

The brook that hugs Padanaram Road usually remains tucked behind the storefronts, houses and businesses near its banks. Not Thursday.

The Padanaram Brook took five cars, two trailers and a truck at the Danbury Police Department, a red Mini Cooper on Padanarm Road, and it filled basements on Barnum Court and Patch Street.

"We've been here 40 years. This is pretty amazing," said Jeff Jennings of Jennings Oil, 30 East Franklin St. Jennings moved trucks away from Padanaram Brook, which was out of its banks both below and above the oil company's property, as well as out of its banks at the oil company. "We're just waiting for it to receed."

Jennings explained what happened Thursday as a very quick, very heavy rain storm. Weather forecasters said six inches of rain hit Danbury. It fell on the wet ground surrounding the Padanaram Brook on Route 37 and on North Street, and it over-filled the brook.

"It comes up really quick," Jennings said.

John Billstone was planning to do some maintenance work at World Kanreikai Karate, 13 Barnum Court, a short road that runs between North and Patch streets. Barnum Court was under water when Billstone arrived, and it didn't go down much in the next hour as he waited to start work.

"This is the third time this year," Billstone said. "They're looking for new space."

Across the street, Armindo Mendes, who owns property both on Barnum Court and at 17 Patch St., said his basements are completely flooded. "I'm going to need a new furnace."

"I went through this ten years ago. I had a boat in the parking lot that time," said Mendes, a retired woodworker, shaking his head.

Follow the Padanaram Brook south and you reach the back parking lot at the new Danbury Police Station. The lot remained under three feet of water at 11 a.m. Thursday. It was higher earlier. The cruisers usually parked on the lot that abuts the Padanaram Brook were parked by Thursday morning on East Franklin Street.

In the parking lot, five cars were submerged, as was a truck and it appeared that two trailers on the edge of the lot may have water damage.

"We had about six inches of rain in an hour. We had seven-and-a-half lat week. That's a hundred-year event," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "The rivers are already full."

Boughton said the parking lot got wet, but the police department was undamaged.

"It's hard to drain that much water," Boughton said.

mvl September 08, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Oh goodness, I have to go that way to get home!! I was never even aware of any stream behind there! It wasn't flooded like that for my ride to work @ 6:20am. I'm very sorry for the people who's homes/cars and property were flooded ... I hope y'all have flood insurance and wish you all the best in the cleanup efforts. :( Is there anywhere to donate stuff to these folks who may need help?
Michelle September 09, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't the word "amok"?
Mark Langlois (Editor) September 09, 2011 at 10:25 AM
Hi Michelle, I think you're right. I was going for the concept of 'muck' as opposed to 'mock.' I was in the water on Padanaram, Barnum Court, Patch Street and behind the PD from about 10 a.m. to noon. It was brown muck.
bordwithbs September 09, 2011 at 12:03 PM
The natural ability for the water to be absorbed into the soil has been compromised by building malls, parking lots, highways and structures in the areas flooded. That's progress!
Nancy 1 September 09, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Only when it is not filled with MUCK!
Hal September 09, 2011 at 05:39 PM
"Boughton said the parking lot got wet" in looking at those pics that is a little bit more than "wet"!

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