Drought affecting deepest reaches of northwestern CT - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Drought affecting deepest reaches of northwestern CT

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An old truss bridge exposed by the drought in Colebrook. (WFSB photo) An old truss bridge exposed by the drought in Colebrook. (WFSB photo)
COLEBROOK, CT (WFSB) -

An extended drought is hurting much of Connecticut, especially in the furthest reached of the northwest corner.

The West Branch Reservoir and Colebrook River Lake, which feed into the Farmington River, are drying up quickly.

"I've never seen [Colebrook River Lake] this low in my lifetime," said John Campetti.

Campetti told Eyewitness News that he's watched it happen little by little.

The historic drought depleted the water supply, according to the Metropolitan District Commission. It's 25 feet below average for the fall.

While the MDC said it's not drinking water, the water helps manage the flow of the west branch of the Farmington River.

MDC said it helps that managing process.

A spokesperson told Eyewitness News that more water is being drawn than nature is replacing.

In the short term, low water is revealing captivating sights.

An old rusty truss bridge was unearthed. The MDC said it was a sole symbol of land that once held homes before the river lake was built for flood control decades ago.

"That's amazing," said Michael Campetti, a neighbor. "The last time I saw that bridge, it had to be in the 70s when you could walk across it."

The Army Corps of Engineers said it monitors the area. Usually, the rocks on the opposite side of the bridge are completely submerged so people can't walk across the whole bridge. That's not the case this year.

The exposure of the bridge has brought about new problems, according to officials.

People have been driving ATVs below and trying to cross the top of the rickety structure.

New fencing has been put up to keep people away. The Army Corps of Engineers said it's just another reason why rain is sorely needed.

Without significant rainfall, the MDC said there won't be enough water to release into the Farmington River, leaving wildlife without a water flow at all.

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