Rising water levels at Willimantic River draw small crowds – NBC Connecticut

Tropical Storm Elsa dumped rain and inundated several streets along the coast and in the streets of the city. Almost 24 hours later we start to see large bodies of water like the Willimantic River recede.

The rising levels prompted many people to show up to the river to catch a glimpse of the water and sound gushing from the ground and the garden onto the bridge.

It might not be the post-storm calm you are used to seeing on the Willimantic River due to the force of the water and fast waves, but it certainly catches your eye.

The views along with the crashing waves led a small number of people to show up to catch a peak.

Ellen and Russ Boehle are from Florida for the summer and lived in the city, but tell NBC Connecticut their trip down the river was an impromptu visit.

“We’ve been living here for forty-five years or something and I’ve never seen it this high,” said Russ Boehle.

“We were just driving and we wondered why not stop,” said Ellen Boehle.

The river reached its peak around 8:00 a.m. this morning, the highest level in 15 years.

James Haggerty is one of the people who has seen the river go up.

“A few times, very rarely, but we see it every now and then, especially when there’s a hurricane or something,” Haggerty said.

But for other longtime residents, it’s the first time they can remember seeing the water this high.

“It’s awesome, it’s usually a pretty calm river. Sometimes it barely flows over the waterfalls, so seeing it like that is pretty crazy,” said Matt Beisser.

The river is still in minor flood.

Officials say sewage discharges from the tropical storm may have caused some contamination.

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