by Charles A. Monagan
May 13, 2011
03:13 PM
On Connecticut

It Has Happened Here, Too


As the stories and images continue to come in from the terrible flooding going on all along the Mississippi River, our hopes and best wishes go out to all those affected by the rising waters, which of course is the easy thing to say from a place that is relatively dry and safe from such devastation.

Or is it?

I happened to be going through an old compendium of Connecticut Circle—a forerunner to Connecticut Magazine—when I came across the images from the November 1938 issue, chronicling some of the destruction and flooding caused by a massive hurricane that battered New England on Sept. 21, 1938. The storm, which is still the greatest natural disaster to befall the state, killed dozens of people, dumped between 14 and 17 inches of rain on the state, and caused over $38 million worth of damage.

In the top picture you can see that the Connecticut River was way above flood stage. The first image is the Bulkeley Bridge, the Travelers Tower and what normally was East Hartford. The second image is the Arrigoni Bridge between Middletown and Portland.

Again, it looks like East Hartford took the brunt of the flooding from this storm.

If you're interested, there are more images of the damage from the hurricane at the Connecticut State Library online image archives, taken by the 118th Photographic Section of the U.S. Army Air Corps on the days following the storm.

In the meantime, I'll be staying dry and remembering not to complain when I get a few puddles in the basement.

It Has Happened Here, Too

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