Friday was a busy day for local firefighters.
The sudden rain storm caused the Milford Fire Department to respond to more than 40 calls in a four-hour period, fire officials reported.
The storm was unusual because the flooding did not come from coastal or river flooding but came from the sudden accumulation of 5 inches of rain over a short period of time.
At approximately 12:30 p.m. Friday, the Milford Fire Department 911 center began receiving calls for people stuck in their cars in flood low lying areas. More than 20 people had to be rescued by firefighters from the high waters. During the height of the storm, the fire department continued to be called upon for the normal emergency calls that happen on a day to day basis. One such incident occurred at the Court House on West River Street, where an HVAC unit was causing a smell of smoke, fire officials said.
“Flooding in buildings was wide spread with considerable amount of water forced the Westfield Mall lower level to be closed and on Naugatuck Avenue an oil tank stored outside was turned on its side by the water causing oil to leak into the rain water,” Battalion Chief Chris Zak said in a prepared statement. “This runoff caused extensive flooding inside of St. Ann’s Church and required the Milford Fire Department Hazardous Materials Technicians to work with the State of Connecticut DEEP and a haz mat clean up company to remove the oil.”
On Orchard Street a house had its exterior foundation wall collapse during the storm. The water and dirt caused interior support columns to be pushed out of the way causing an unstable structure. Firefighters worked inside the structure erecting emergency shoring to prevent further collapse and damage from the house.