LORDSHIP STORMS

January 25, 1820: SEVERE STORM: On Monday morning between 2 and 3 the wind commenced blowing violently from the northeast with a heavy fall of snow. By noon it changed to rain and subsided by 2. The water rose about 8 inches higher than the last great tide, September 23, 1815 and a higher tide than the present is not remembered by the oldest inhabitants. The dwelling house of Mr. Elizur Andrews, situated near the outlet of the great marsh at Stratford Point was flooded and blown down and that the family was providentially saved on a part of the roof which wafted them to dry land with no other injury than their sufferings from the wet and cold. The effects of the family were all swept away by the tempest.

January 16, 1856 - THE LATE STORM: The Worcester, which left New York for Stonington at her usual hour on Saturday evening, had a very narrow escape from destruction. At about 10 pm in the evening while off Bridgeport, she encountered the severity of the gale from the northeast and encountering also large masses of floating ice, was for some time almost at the mercy of the varying elements. An effort was made to reach Bridgeport, but the steamer was carried out of her course by the ice and wind, and thrown into the breakers near Stratford Point. Here we are told; she struck twice, but fortunately received no injury. At last, finding it impossible to make a harbor or escape the perils that threatened an effort to get again into the Sound, three anchors were thrown over; and for six hours, though in constant and imminent danger, she rode out the gale. At 7:00 on Sunday morning she started for New Haven, and reached there at noon, procured a supply of coal, and started again for Stonington. She arrived at her wharf at Stonington at about 9:00 in the evening. Her officers are said to have exhibited an unusual degree of coolness and watchfulness during the hours of peril, and to these qualities and their acknowledged abilities as seamen. The passengers attributed their rescue from the fearful dangers that so seriously menaced them.

March 31, 1875 - THE WINTER OF 1741: The New Haven Palladium has been searching history for a colder winter than the present and selects 1741 as a specimen. In that year the snow which covered the whole country as early as the 13th of November, was still found the next April covering the fences. In January a tent was maintained on Charles River, Boston, for the entertainment of travelers. From Feb. 22, George Washington's first birthday, until March 6 the people crossed the sound on the ice every day from Stratford, Conn., to Long Island, a distance of three leagues. Even as far east as New London the ice extended into the sound as far as could be seen from the town and Fisher's Island was united to the mainland by a solid bed. On March 28, the Boston News-Letter reports that the people living on Thompson's Island had crossed over to Dorchester to church on the ice for the fifteen preceding Sundays. As late as the 9th of July, a letter from New London, Conn., reports on the east side of the Connecticut River a body of ice as large as two carts can draw, clear and solid, and adds very artlessly that "it might lie there a month longer were it not that so many resort out of curiosity to drink punch made out of it." On the 17th of July, snow was still lying in a mass in the town of Ipswich, Mass., nearly four feet thick. But the most marvelous record of the season is the statement made by Alonzo Lewis, author of the annals of Lynn, Mass., that "Francis Lewis, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, drove his horse from New York to Barnstable, the whole length of Long Island sound, on the ice."

April 24, 1893 - THE OYSTER CROP RUINED: Reports received from the oyster growing districts along the Connecticut coast state that the oyster crop was almost ruined by the severe storms which have passed over Long Island Sound. The oyster growers in this city, Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport, Stamford, Greenwich and Darien all report that it was the most disastrous storm since they have been in the oyster trade.

April 12, 1894: WORST STORM SINCE BLIZZARD OF 1888 HITS: Schooner Flanders of Glen Cove, L.I. bound for Block Island went ashore at Stratford breakwater early this morning. The crew mistook Stratford Light for the lighthouse at Middle Ground. The five men aboard escaped with great difficulty and found shelter at Stratford Lighthouse. The wind is still blowing a gale and the vessel is fast going to pieces.

December 16, 1907: BEACH BADLY DAMAGED, HOUSE WASHED AWAY: Not in many years has Stratford Beach on Steeplechase Island suffered so severely as Saturday night and yesterday. At the upper end thousands of tons of sand were washed away and two cottages were destroyed, one was covered by sand and several others much damaged. One house was washed from its foundation and carried out to sea. Several hours later it was found with the furnishings demolished off Fairfield Beach two miles away. The greater part of the upper end of the beach has been swept away so that only a small strip of land remains and in several places streams have forced their way through so that the entire strip is in danger of going.

July 18, 1918 - STORM HITS AREA HARD: Lordship Manor was struck hard in the blow, which had the force of a tornado at that point. Although lightning accompanied the storm and struck the wires leading to the bathing pavilion, no damage was done to the building. A bolt is said to have struck one of the three houses farthest east on the point of beach leading from Steeplechase Island, ripping the siding off the structure. The house is said not to have been occupied at the time and the owner's name was unobtainable yesterday because no telephone communication was available. Seven of the 31 tents forming the colony along the beach were blown flat and the contents drenched. All the canvas was rescued and was being re-erected last night. Many occupants of the tents were driven to shelter in other camps and nearly all were wet to the skin as well as frightened during the blow. At the home garden plots being worked by Bridgeport policemen and firemen growing crops are said to have been laid fiat by the force of the wind and rain. Because of the fact that potatoes and corn have not attained a high growth, hope for saving the crop is expressed by agricultural experts.

November 26, 1919 - TUG BATTLES GALE FOR 7 HOURS OFF STRATFORD POINT With Two Barges in Tow Winfred S. Cahill Has Fierce Struggle to Make Bridgeport Harbor - NEARLY GOES ON SHOALS - Captain Forced to Put Vessel's Nose Direct in Face of Storm to Keep from Hitting Rocks: Caught in a sudden and heavy gale, off Stratford Point shortly afternoon yesterday, the New Haven tug Winfred S. Cahill, with a tow of one barge, loaded with crushed stone for Black Rock and one light boat, battled for seven hours against a head wind and ebb tide with high seas before she finally succeeded in landing the boats safely in the local harbor at 8 oclock last night. West bound from Pine Orchard, the Cahill one boatload of stone at the new Washington Bridge, now under construction, picked up a light boat and pulled out of Stratford with the light barge astern of the loaded one. A southwest gale swooping through the sound put the Cahill in the undesirable position of pulling ahead when to turn around was hazardous. Off Point-No-Point, the wind and sea had reached such proportions that the tug was forced to put her stern to the beach and pull directly into the gale in order to keep clear of the shoals. For hours the steamer struggled against the elements, a rain storm broke loose and wave after wave washed across the tug and her consorts. As the hawsers had been given plenty of scope, the danger of one boat coming down upon the other was overcome and at 8 o'clock in the evening the Cahill landed her charges in the harbor. The progress of the tug was watched with much interest by local boatmen and steps had been taken to send a relief boat. The steamer Naugatuck arrived in the harbor from New York nearly an hour overdue because of the unfavorable conditions. There was little or no moderation of wind or water last night and none but the larger craft ventured outside, where the waves were washing over the breakwaters.

February 24, 1934 - BLIZZARD SHUTS DOWN TOWN: The worst blizzard to hit Stratford since the blizzard of 1888 started last Monday and dumped 30" of snow on the town. Wednesday morning, Town Manager Donald Sammis, who resides in Lordship visited nearly every home in that section on snow shoes and urged the citizenry to join the volunteer firemen and seek an outlet to Stratford proper. Workers started digging from Lordship and the town crew working from this end met before night. This route had been traveled by several on foot during the day, a number using skis and snow shoes breaking the trail. The workers who went on duty the first afternoon and night suffered from the intense cold, the thermometer dropping close to the zero mark after midnight. The following day it warmed up and more progress was made.

The Hurricane of 38 - The worst storm ever to hit Lordship.

September 23, 1938 - STORM DAMAGE HIGH AS WIND RAISES HAVOC: Two Die As Tropical Hurricane Sweeps Through Town: A tropical hurricane moved eastward into the Atlantic Ocean Thursday morning leaving in its wake in Stratford, two dead and hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. The hurricane was the first of its kind to visit the town. Freak storms have occurred in the past 50 years in certain sections of the town but the Wednesday high wind and rain was the first general hurricane ever recorded in Stratford. It tore telephone and electric light wires from poles, smashed 60 and 70 foot trees to the ground, ripped the roofs from garages and houses, plunged the town into darkness, crippled transportation facilities, sent towering waves from Long Island Sound plunging over roadways and isolated the Lordship district from the rest of the town for more than six hours. Damage to the truck farms on South Main Street where Fresh Pond overflowed its bank for a distance of more than a half mile could not be estimated today. It was believed that the major portion of the crops still in the ground will be useless. Electric service was resumed in Stratford Center at 5 am Thursday morning after failing at 3 pm Wednesday afternoon. Candles were at a premium in the town and only one or two store owners kept open with the aid of gas and candles to serve the sightseeing trade. With virtually every street in the town blocked by huge fallen trees, the work of police, firemen and volunteers was hampered as thousands of residents of nearby communities drove into Stratford attempting to get to Lordship Beach. Just as the waters of the Housatonic River poured over the airport channel dike and made Main Street impassable, a fire was discovered in the summer home of Harold Bradstreet at Lighthouse Point. Assistant Fire Chief William Anthony attempted to answer the alarm from headquarters and found water so deep on Main Street and at Honeyspot Road and Meadow Road that the fire apparatus was forced to return to headquarters. The Lordship apparatus directed by Fireman Fred Donaldson responded to the call but were blocked within 300 feet of the house by a gully of water too deep to navigate. Fire Chief Allen Judson was at the scene today to determine the cause and estimate the loss. The high flames fanned by the hurricane winds started rumors throughout the county that 15 cottages at Short Beach were destroyed and police were flooded with calls from cottage owners. A checkup revealed that although high waves pounded the shore cottages at Short Beach there was little damage. The beach concession on the south side of Beach Drive was completely destroyed by pounding waves and many of the summer cottages were shifted from their foundations. At least six cottages at Long Beach were completely destroyed and several persons were taken ashore in boats from the area during the night. Eight inches of water on the floor of the Sikorsky Aircraft caused a shutdown of the plant on Thursday when power lines were useless. At Meadowview Road, near Fresh Pond, three families were rescued from the second story of their homes and rowed to safety when the pond overflowed. Two full shifts of police in charge of Sergeants David Dinan and Frederick Albright augmented by ten special policemen worked until

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December 7, 1938 - EGG SURVIVORS: A strange twist of fate it was that saved only two eggs out of the entire beach stand of J. Mellitz, Bridgeport, Conn., after the destructive hurricane of September 1938. The eggs, found 100 feet away lying unbroken on the beach, had been inside an icebox, but the icebox was demolished along with the stand.

August 25, 1939: LORDSHIP SHORE AREA VISIONS HURRICANE AS HEAVY STORM ARRIVES: The tornado which visited the Virginia coast last weekend made itself felt in Stratford at 3:45 am Sunday morning and the more than 100 cottage owners on the Lordship shore front recalling the hurricane of last September had little or no sleep over the weekend. Heavy rains and a driving wind on Saturday night kept the cottage occupants busy shutting doors and windows to keep out the storm but it was not until the early hours of Sunday morning that the full fury of the storm was felt. It was of 15 minutes duration but to those cottage owners who visioned their investments going out to sea it was 15 minutes of torture and many packed hurriedly and left for home rather than face a repetition of September 21, 1938. Waves rolled in 10 and 15 feet high smashing against the cottages in the front row and from a point just west of First Avenue the high waters rolled over the town seawall and onto Beach Drive and the tide mounted higher and higher aided by the high winds. There was shouting and screaming in the shore colony as women became panic stricken, roused children from beds and started the trek from the beach. Neighbors who slept soundly were awakened and the men folks stood by to assist where needed. Promptly at 4 oclock, as though by schedule the wind stopped blowing, the rain ceased and within 10 minutes the heavens were covered with stars replacing the storm clouds. Many returned to bed and when the rain began once again at 5 oclock there was no wind.

August 24, 1988 - HURRICANE OF 38 HIT STRATFORD 50 YEARS AGO: Next year may mark an exciting anniversary for the town of Stratford, but next month will see one of a different kind. Fifty years ago on September 21, 1938 the largest tropical hurricane to hit the East Coast in decades moved into Stratford leaving two people dead and hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. One resident died attempting to save a power boat at the jetty and another lost his life from injuries sustained when a part of the roof of his home collapsed on him while he was standing near his house during the height of the storm. The vicious storm tore telephone and electric light wires from poles, smashed 60 to 70 foot trees to the ground and ripped roofs from businesses across town. Transportation facilities ground to a halt as waves washed over roadways and isolated the entire Lordship district from the rest of the town for more than six hours. An account in the weekly town newspaper reported that virtually every street was blocked by fallen trees and that police, fire and volunteer workers were hampered in their attempts to reach the Lordship area. Thousands of residents of nearby communities complicated the situation by driving into Stratford to reach Lordship beach. With widespread power outages and candles at a premium, most town stores were forced to shut down while sightseers flocked to Stratford to view the damage the following day. When the fire department tried to answer an alarm from a home at Lighthouse Point, the water was so deep on Main Street and Honeyspot Road due to the overflow from the Housatonic River that the fire apparatus was forced to return to headquarters. Six cottages at Long Beach were completely destroyed by the waves and many of the summer cottages shifted from their foundations according to newspaper accounts. In addition, eight inches of water on the floor of Sikorsky Aircraft on South Main Street caused a shutdown of the plant the next day while power lines were down. A coal barge broke near the Washington Bridge and was swept down the Housatonic River and damage at the Pootatuck and Housatonic Boat clubs was estimated at more than $500,000. Many boats were lost in the deluge while more crashed into other boats and sank.

March 3, 1947 - COTTAGES HIT BY BIG WAVES IN STRATFORD: One Lordship Structure Washed Off Foundation - Others Damaged: Battered by surging waves, one Lordship cottage was washed off its foundation today and two others were undermined as the Stratford shorefront was hard hit in the wake of an overnight storm which piled up three inches of snow and made travel hazardous throughout Fairfield County. Rolling in from the Sound and backed by strong winds, 10-foot waves wrought destruction as the tide reached peak shortly before 8 oclock and buffeted a cottage colony in a section owned by the Lordship Park Association and located at the west end of the beach area, between Third and Fourth Avenues. Water swirled around the more than 40 other cottages in the development, but no further damage was reported. The Stratford waterfront bore the brunt of today's onslaught.

September 1, 1954 - WORK BEGUN ON CLEANUP IN STRATFORD: Stratford residents today were surveying damage caused by yesterday's hurricane that ripped through town, knocking out power service, flooding houses and battering the beachfront. Town Manager Harry Flood said emergency crews are working around the clock to "mop up." Richard Blake, director of Public Works, announced that all tree limbs from private property will be carted away by department trucks beginning Monday morning if they are placed on the planting strips in front of the houses. The Lordship area was isolated from the rest of the town during the storm and for several hours after, when water from the Housatonic River and Long Island Sound covered Great Meadows Road and Stratford Road, adjacent to the Bridgeport Airport. Members of the Civil Defense Auxiliary police were called for duty at noon to aid in the Lordship area. The Lordship Volunteer Fire department members checked all cottages on the Lordship beach front and assisted several families to pack and leave before the high storm waters surrounded the cottages. A majority of the beach residents declined to leave and Walter Auger, Jr., a resident of the Beach area, remained throughout the storm checking the families to see whether or not they might need assistance. All cottage residents at Lordship, Short and Long beaches were notified by police on Monday night of the impending storm and were urged to leave the beach area. A check Tuesday morning disclosed that except for one or two, the others had chosen to remain through the storm. Mrs. Lillian Downs, operator of the Marine Basin, South Main Street, reported that a 14-foot plywood rowboat moored in the basin had drifted away during the height of the storm. Town officials said that although the high waters surrounded the beach cottages, both along the shore of the Housatonic River and on Long Island Sound, no serious damage had been reported.

September 2, 1954: HURRICANE ISOLATES LORDSHIP: According to weather bureau officials the eye of the hurricane passed only 50 miles from here at 11 am and was aided by abnormal tides and winds of 90 mph. Lordship Beach and other shore residents were warned Monday evening by police officials to evacuate their cottages because of the feared high tides. High waves battered the Lordship and Short Beach areas during the early stages of the storm. Eventually the areas were completely flooded by the incoming waves. The Lordship area was isolated from the rest of the town at approximately 1 pm (an hour before the high tide) when flood waters surged over the Great Meadows Road and Stratford Road adjacent to the Bridgeport Airport. Rescue work, aided by units of Red Cross workers, Civil Defense Auxiliary police, maintenance crews, regular police and firemen continued throughout and after the storm. No casualties were reported in this area. Several boats were washed up on the Lordship beach and many more were sunk in the Housatonic River basin when high tides and excessive winds ripped their moorings. The storm is the worst since to hit Lordship since the Hurricane of 1938.

September 9, 1954: The loss of the 29-foot sloop Barracuda belonging to the Sea Explorers during the recent hurricane is sad, but a cause for great rejoicing is the fact that the four local lads who were aboard her at the time were able to adandon the ship before she sank. The boys, Bud Hewitt, Tom Keaveny, Don Heitzler and Tom Sullivan stayed with her, bailing out until the force of the storm made if obvious that she would soon capsize. The Barracuda now lies on the bottom of New Harbor, Block Island together with the clothing and personal effects of the boys.

September 11, 1954 - STRATFORD ON ALERT - BEACHES CLEARED: Stratford police, civil defense forces and the Stratford chapter of the American Red Cross were on the alert today as Hurricane Edna reared up the Atlantic. Gale force winds struck here shortly after 11 a. m. and at 11:05 water began to pour over the dike at the Marine basin, adjacent to the Bridgeport municipal airport. Red Cross canteen workers were on the job serving coffee and doughnuts to members of the police and fire departments and personnel of the Public Works department. The section of South Main Street, opposite the airport, began flooding and high tides on the Lordship waterfront reached around cottages, but no damage has been reported to the buildings. All roads leading to Lordship beach became flooded shortly before noon. Stratford Police Chief Patrick Flanagan reported that most residents of cottages on the shorefront from Pleasure beach to Lordship and on the Housatonic River at Short Beach had moved out by midnight last night as regular and auxiliary police made a final check. The few persons who remained in their beach cottages last night had promised to evacuate them this morning, according to police. Touring the beach areas throughout the night were Town Manager Harry Flood, Chief Flanagan, Civil Defense Director Alfred Pickus and Red Cross Disaster Chairman Louis Petrial, Jr. They planned to remain on duty until the storm passed. In the Lordship Beach area and at Short Beach, Chief Flanagan ordered that autoists be kept from the beaches and cottage owners and others will not be permitted in the area until all danger of the storm had passed. Four radio and emergency control centers were opened late yesterday afternoon by Civil Defense and 25 mobile units of the Communications division were reported on duty. The centers, manned by CD personnel were opened at the public works garage, Lordship fire house, Red Cross, and the main control center. Because prior storms have always isolated the Lordship area from the balance of the storm, as flood waters cover South Main Street near Bridgeport Municipal Airport and Great Meadow Road, arrangements were made for auxiliary police in the area until the storm passed and an emergency first aid station with complete medical supplies has been made available at the Lordship School. Sightseers will not be permitted in the beach areas at any time, the police chief said. He ordered the Lordship beach front cleared of autoists shortly before 10 o'clock last night when a traffic snarl occurred as cars lined the seawall "to watch the waves."

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August 13, 1955 - SEAWALL POUNDED AT STRATFORD SHORE: Heavy seas pounded against the seawall in Stratford, tossing spray on the roadway, but the tide, one foot above normal at morning high, 7:43 o'clock, did no damage to shorefront cottages. The sea approached but did not inundate cottages at one point on the west end of the Lordship shorefront. At Short Beach, no damage was reported immediately after high tide.

February 15, 1960 - GALE, HIGH WAVES BATTER SHORELINE; LORDSHIP, MILFORD AREAS HARDEST HIT: Cottages Are Smashed, Low Sections Flooded: The combination of peak tides and gale-force winds whipping in from Long Island sound sent waves high up on the Bridgeport area shoreline yesterday to smash summer cottages, crack walls and pavements, and flood low-lying beach sections. Damage in the Lordship area of Stratford alone was estimated at more than $25,000. The storm hit suddenly just after noon, when the tide was highest and the wind had shifted toward the south. Gusts up to 45 miles an hour swept the rising waters in to batter the flimsy buildings and inundate low-lying areas. Five cottages were smashed at the extreme western end of Long beach, three of them total losses. More than 35 porches, bathhouses and cottage steps were swept away by the waves, which at times reached more than 12 feet high. The assault by wind and wave was a surprise attack, which hit after the threat of a major snow storm had passed. During the night there had been snow and freezing rain, which ended in most areas by mid-morning. The heavy snow-fall predicted failed to materialize as the storm moving up the east coast moved farther inland and to the north. But the winds continued strong and shifted from the northeast towards the east, then the south-cast and then south. Stratford Councilman Frederick Biebel, Jr., from the Tenth district, was touring Lordship at noon and reported that the storm came up suddenly. He said that within 15 minutes the high waves were pounding at the front of the cottages in the first row, a short distance from the high tide line. The waves smashed against the buildings, breaking windows, ripping porches from the front and rear, and washing away small bathhouses. Before the storm subsided, the water had covered the entire cottage area back almost 500 feet from the high tide line, and completely surrounding the double row of cottages. The flood blocked all roadways from Washington Parkway west to Oak Bluff Avenue. In the area between Fifth and Sixth Avenues on the Lordship beach front, west of Washington parkway, cottages owned by Margaret Rooney, Margaret Brannigan and Lawrence Meehan all of Bridgeport, were total losses. Cottages of Anthony Rossi and Charles Tyler were swept from their foundations and severely damaged. It was reported that the two cottages can be salvaged. Walter Auger Jr., resident agent for the Lordship Park Association, owners of the land on which the cottages are constructed, said there were no persons residing in any of the structures which are normally occupied from late June through October. Police Chief Patrick Flanagan. Lieut. John Havery, Jr. and Civil Defense Director Albert Pickus were at the scene throughout the afternoon. The Civil Defense crews moved through the area, checking to make certain there were no occupants. The Lordship Skating arena on Washington Parkway was completely surrounded by water for more than two hours. Special police were assigned to the area to warn off visitors and the United Illuminating Company and the Bridgeport Gas Company had emergency crews shut off utilities to safeguard against fire. Assistant Fire Chief Hans Lundgren and Town Electrical Inspector Peter Levi checked the cottages in the late afternoon after the tide had subsided and permitted the companies to resume service. Although the tide in the Housatonic River was above normal, there was no danger reported at Short Beach.

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September 13, 1960 - STRATFORD ESCAPES BRUNT OF HURRICANE SOME EVACUATED FROM FLOODED AREAS, BUT DAMAGE IS NEGLIGIBLE: Stratford came through Hurricane Donna yesterday with little or no damage. Town Manager Harry Flood and Director of Public Works Richard Blake, as Acting Civil Defense director, made a complete tour of the town following the storm and said that except for flooded cellars, trees down, electric power lines down in several places and flooding of streets, damage was negligible. High winds whipped through the town from early morning until late in the afternoon, but town officials said the cottages at Short Beach, Lordship Beach front and Long Beach, normally the target of the heavy winds and high seas came through without damage. National Guardsmen from Headquarters Battery, 3rd Gun Bn 242 Arty and Bty C commanded by Capt. William Plavnicky and Lieut. Richard Watt patrolled the beach areas after setting up a command post in Police headquarters at 1:30 p.m. They assisted the Police guarding power lines, rerouting traffic and in guarding the beach areas after police had evacuated the residents of the shore cottages. The National Guard headquarters on Wood End Road was opened as an evacuation point. Civil Defense forces mobilized by Mr. Blake set up a command station in the Police building with radio and telephone lines to the various divisions. Shortly after 2 p.m., the Fire department was called to South Main Street near the Polish cemetery when four utility poles were felled by the storm, bringing down the electric power lines and telephone lines for the Lordship area. Utility crews were on the job until late into the night attempting to restore power and telephones to the area. Storm winds drove the tide far above the normal tide line so that it surrounded the cottages at both Lordship and Short Beach and pounded over the seawall on the Lordship shorefront, but no damages to cottages was reported.

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January 24, 1966 - SEVERE FLOODING IN AREA AS TIDE POUNDS SHORELINE: The Weather bureau said the snow started to fall yesterday at 1:07 a.m. and continued as snow, rain and sleet for the next 22 hours, ending last night at 11:15 o'clock. Gale winds of over 30 miles an hour prevailed most of the day with the peak of 61 miles an hour yesterday at 8:20 a.m. Coastal flooding started later in the morning as tides started to rise. It was high tide at 12: 18 p.m. A Stratford highway department crew began repairs today to Beach Drive along the seawall at Lordship which was rendered impassable by pounding surf, which also tore away several sections of the seawall. Stratford police barricaded several streets because of flooding and routed traffic around them during the crest tide and the family of Fred Gould of First Avenue, Lordship, was forced to leave their home as the water rose quickly. Firemen were reported pumping water out of the basement of the Gould home this morning. James Kissane, director of public works, today said that no estimate of storm and flooding damage was available, but that repairs to Beach Drive were expected to be completed by late this afternoon. He said that men of his department erected barricades and placed lanterns at flooded and damaged roadways yesterday, but that most of the department employees were engaged in Snow removal operations during the storm. Stratford police yesterday barricaded Washington Parkway, Elm Street and Beach Drive to keep sightseers out of danger and reinforced their patrol of shore areas, watching for residents and motorists in need of assistance. The Lordship meadows area off Meadows road was flooded by the tide and Short Beach Road and Stratford Road as well as Second and Fifth Avenue were also reported under water yesterday, before the tides receded. Police said the roadway in front of the Long Beach skating rink near Marnick's restaurant was also flooded, and in Long Beach numerous unoccupied summer cottages were partially flooded and walks and pavements were ripped up by the pounding waves. As parts of the seawall at Lordship were swept away by turbulent seas, police said it was feared for a time that the entire seawall would be washed out. Police said the Connecticut National Guard, through Its officers living in Stratford, offered assistance to police and fire departments for possible evacuation of residents of low-lying areas, but that the assistance was not required. Fire officials also reported that they pumped out the basement of a house at First Avenue, but that is had not been necessary to evacuate occupants of the home yesterday.

January 27, 1966: LORDSHIP FLOODS: Sundays storm in Lordship created flood problems for residents of the Lordship Beach-Long Beach area and drove high water marks up all the way from the sea wall at Point No Point to the Bridgeport City line. On Monday flooding conditions remained. Most of the water had run through breaks in the sea wall and up over low lying areas in the marshes which constitute the west border of Lordship. Residents sought to determine the cause of the persisting flood state. The area from Washington Parkway west to Oak Bluff Avenue is drained normally by a ditch and pipes which run under the roads in between. A flood gate or outlet pipe under Oak Bluff Avenue is supposed to take that water and return it to the Sound by way of Lewis Gut, the bay behind Long Beach. Town Engineer Wesley Cronk said that these drainage facilities were working but were not up to the task. First District Councilman Walter Auger and Cronk both said that the ditch was not in top shape. Cronk noted some filling in of the ditch, while Auger remarked the thing probably has not been cleaned out since WPA days. Auger and Cronk also agreed that the outlet pipe which runs under Oak Bluff Avenue is not adequate for major flooding conditions. There is presently a 24 inch pipe provided to drain off flood waters. The pipes were open during the storm and afterward, Auger said, referring to those running under intervening streets as well as to the outlet pipe, the flood gate. Cronk confirmed the fact that the drain system was operative despite the continuance of flood conditions. Both men cited the enormity of the amount of water trapped behind waterfront cottages. There was 40 acres of water there and it ranged from four to five feet deep, said Auger. The Town Engineer said that damage from floods of this type could not be prevented by improved drainage systems. The damage is done once the flood occurs, whether it lasts for a few minutes or a few days, said Cronk. Cronk emphasized that the Town has a construction project scheduled for increasing the drainage facility. The plans call for a 36 inch pipe to be installed where the 24 incher now exists. Portions of Third and Fifth Avenue remained flooded on Monday but were clear by Tuesdays low tide. Three families which had been evacuated during the storm returned to their homes Tuesday. Town Engineer Cronk said that the construction of the enlarged flood gate would begin as soon as the final work on Long Beach groins is finished and all machinery is removed. Construction of the gate has been postponed because Oak Bluff Avenue, the only access to Long Beach would have to be closed during the work. Although Auger and Cronk admitted that there would be no way to prevent such a flood from occurring again. Auger did say he would recommend sweeping improvements for the beaches from the east end of the sea wall west to the end of Long Beach. Cronk said that recommended diking plans prepared by the Army Engineer Corps did not include diking along the affected beach fronts. This would destroy the beach use by people who own or rent cottages there, he said.

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Stormdamage1992

Storm damage 1992

September 9, 1969 - HURRICANE BARRIER BACKED IN STRATFORD: As hurricane watch warnings were posted by the Weather bureau, the Stratford Town council last night directed Town Manager Richard E. Blake to send a letter of assurance to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signifying the town's interest in the completion of a hurricane barrier. The contract plans and specifications for the barrier along the Housatonic River from Broad Street to the Airport marina basin, and along the west edge of Lordship along the rear shore line of Lewis Gut to Lordship Boulevard are expected to be completed by 1971. To obtain funds for the continuation of planning, the engineers required an assurance from the town of its capability and willingness to provide local cooperation for the project. Total cost of the hurricane barrier was estimated at $16.3 million with the federal share estimated at $11.4 million. The state would pay $1.4 million, with the town picking up the tab for the remaining $3.3 million. The hurricane barrier, when constructed, will protect the town sewage disposal plant and numerous other installations along the river including the Avco Lycoming company facility. Mr. Blake said the commitment should be considered binding by the town. Had the project not been approved by the council, the planning would have been shelved by the Engineers and only extremely unusual circumstances could have re-opened the planning. Mr. Blake recalled that during the 1955 hurricane waters nearly as far as Stratford Avenue along Honeyspot Road.

July 13, 1972 - 2 PROJECTS 'TO EASE' LORDSHIP FLOODING: Town Engineer Wesley Cronk said this week that flooding conditions in much of the Lordship section of town will be alleviated when two drainage projects are completed in the area. Monday night, the Town Council awarded a $74,497 contract to the A. Julian Construction Company, Inc., of Bridgeport to install storm drains in the Washington Parkway section of Lordship. Mr. Cronk said that flooding conditions in the parkway area have grown increasingly worse for 20 years and said the recent heavy rain storms caused floods and "ponding" in a large portion of roadways. The storm drain work will begin late this month and is expected to be completed in 90 days. Streets served by the drains will include Ocean Avenue, First Avenue and Jefferson Street at the water's edge. Mr. Cronk said the drains will control runoff from the Third Avenue area. A second project to alleviate flooding in the south end of town is currently in the planning stages. Mr. Cronk said that plans are being completed for drains from Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue which will improve drainage in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Avenue areas. When the plans are completed and the project is sent out to bid, probably, in the early fall, Mr. Cronk said most of Lordship will be properly equipped to handle flooding from rain storms or from Long Island Sound.

November 8, 1977 - WIND-WHIPPED RAIN DRENCHES AREA: Cottage Washed Away In Lordship: Drenching rain and gale-force winds buffeted the Bridgeport area last night and this morning, washing away a cottage in Lordship, on Beach drive, Stratford, and forcing the evacuation of many beach area residents in Fairfield. Close to two inches of rain had fallen on the area by 10 a.m. today. Periods of rain, ranging from light to heavy, were expected to continue through tomorrow. The combination of rain and wind caused gale and coastal flooding warnings by the National Weather Service at Sikorsky Memorial Airport at 8 a.m. today: Winds gusting as high as 50 miles ah hour were expected to continue most of, today, diminishing by late after noon and quieting down to 10 miles an hour or less by tomorrow. Flooding at low-lying Intersections and along the beach areas was most severe this morning at high tide, which was at 8:23 a.m. There was considerable cellar flooding in some areas. The flooding problems were expected to diminish later in the day as the tide recedes. Waves whipped up by 50-mile-an-hour winds washed away a 38-year-old, one story cottage at 67 Beach drive, in the Lordship section of Stratford, shortly before 9 a.m. Walter J. Auger, who operates a real estate agency at 1 Oak Bluff avenue, Stratford, said the cottage, owned by Mrs. John D. Callahan, Sr., who reside in Florida, had been pounded to pieces by the surf. The largest portion of the cottage was washed up onto a beach near his place of business, about 1,500 feet from its original location. Mr. Auger said the pilings supporting the cottage gave way first, causing the four-room structure to collapse. Then the surf demolished it and carried it out, washing parts back along the beach. Frederick K, Biebel, of Ocean Avenue, Stratford, said Mrs. Callahan's son, John D. Callahan, Jr., of Trumbull, had driven by shortly after 9 a.m. to see if the cottage had survived, and found it was missing. He later learned what had happened. The cottage was reported to be a total loss, with only parts of the pilings which supported it still in place. Mr. Auger said the cottage had been built in 1939. He said the largest portion to be washed ashore consisted of flooring, which washed up onto the beach near his place of business. The rest, he said just disintegrated.

The Lordship Tornado

June 24, 2010: A line of thunderstorms passed through Lordship around 2:30 p.m. The result was an EF-0 tornado that slammed into Lordship and ran through the center of Lordship along Stratford Road. The worst destruction was in the western part of Lordship. The insurance companies claimed that it was a micro burst with straight line winds. Those that experienced the storm saw the rain and wind coming from all directions. Fortunately no one was injured during the storm. It is the only recorded tornado or remnants of a tornado to ever to hit Lordship.

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