Shop owners on Broad Street in New London said the heavy flash floods came so fast on Thursday it trapped them in their stores until firefighters could rescue them.
The big cleanup was underway on Friday after that 3 inches of rain drenched the city and even closed a high school in the Whaling City.
There were two feet of water flooded the lower portion of the Williams school, which is a private high school. Officials decided to shut down the building on Friday. Contractors and staffers were drying out the sheetrock and making repairs.
Williams school staffers and shop owners over on Bank Street and Broad Street were working nonstop to mop up the damage.
Dozens of fans and dehumidifiers were running to dry out Brian Cole’s Quality Print Shop near Bank Street. The rain came down, so heavy for so long, Bank Street could have been called Lake Street. Motorists were stranded in the street.
"This was extreme. This came right up to the door and it kept coming in,” Cole said. "We tried to hold it back. But with people coming down the street in their cars coming through and just natural flooding, it was impossible to stop."
On Friday, the storm drains were clogged with all the debris that floated down the streets. The city's storm pumps helped drain the water away and left a mucky mess on Bank Street.
Meanwhile, over on Broad Street, shop keeper Janet Cortez was trying to salvage some of her consignments after a foot of water came rushing in.
“The water, the water came too fast,” said Cortez, who added the water was up to her knees.
Her neighbors’ next store at the Liquor Locker were trapped inside, only to be rescued by firefighters. Security cameras caught the action.
"It was out of nowhere and the back everything is messed up,” Liquor Locker co-owner Alizia Torres said.
"People they have no common sense,” Liquor Locker co-owner Luis Torres said. “They drive too fast and they make the wake bigger."
As of Friday night, there were no reports of any serious injuries from the flooding or cleanup.
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