Post-Ida Cleanup and Closings as Town Assesses Damage

Wilton is assessing damage and planning cleanup following the damage caused last week from the former hurricane Ida.

Due to storm runoff, Merwin Meadows pond is closed to swimming as a precautionary measure through at least the end of today, Monday, Sept. 6.

The Veterans Memorial Stadium track is open, but with some areas still covered in mud, town officials have asked residents to stay on the outer lane and areas that are not mud-covered. The vendor who installed the track was scheduled to meet with Parks & Recreation officials to assess whether the storm caused any damage and provide recommendations for cleanup

The Stadium and Lilly turf fields remain closed. The field professionals will be onsite early this week, likely on Tuesday, Sept. 7, to meet with town representatives. Replacement coconut-husk infill already has been ordered to replace the material that was washed away.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice and town parks officials spoke with GOOD Morning Wilton last Thursday, Sept. 2 in a video interview about the damage. In addition, Vanderslice sent residents an update last week further explaining how water, mud and debris ended up on the Stadium Track and the Turf Field.

  • “Water from Wednesday night’s rainfall traveled down from the top of Catalpa Rd. via an intermittent watercourse woven through private properties on Catalpa and under Catalpa Rd. until it crossed back onto town-owned property just north of the back corner of the WHS Stadium. The Town has a 6-foot deep drain at the end of the watercourse to capture water from the watercourse. That drain connects to a network of drains throughout the Complex that take water to the pond and road drains. During the storm, the watercourse brought not only rainwater into our drainage system, but also mud, tree branches and tree debris that fell during the storm.” [See main article image, above]
  • “The mud, tree branches and tree debis blocked some of the drains within the Town’s network. Tree branches and tree debris blocked the 6-foot deep drain at the base of the watercourse behind the north section of the Stadium. See photo here. This caused water, mud and debris to surge onto the track and across the turf field, taking the coconut husk and sand infill with it. The water and debris exited the turf field under the visitor benches. After pushing through the rocks under the bleachers, it turned right and continued racing across the field behind the youth baseball field, with debris stopping just short of the pond.”
A map provided by town officials show the watercourse behind the school fields. The blue arrows show the path of the watercourse in lower Catalpa as it passes through a culvert under Catalpa Rd and private culverts and then turns down along the hill behind the WHS baseball field and re-enters town-owned property north of the WHS track and turf field.

Vanderslice also explained that the Town had taken measures to prevent damage like this from happening, noting that the drainage system behind the stadium field had been enlarged last spring and drains had been cleaned.

“Even as enlarged, the tree debris was so significant as to fill the drain,” she wrote.

Town Engineer Frank Smeriglio is investigating whether anything additional can be done, “as we recognize the increased possibility of more intense storms,” Vanderslice added.

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