Kent has declared a state of emergency due to flooding caused by a mile-long ice jam. Waters from the Housatonic River rose and then froze, covering many of the town's roads.
Due to public safety concerns, state and local officials are restricting access to select roads and recreation areas. Enforcement action will be taken for illegal entry into restricted areas. While this is a rare phenomenon, officials say this is not a time for sight-seeing.
Four homes have been evacuated. The emergency shelter is open, but all evacuees have found other housing. The Kent Volunteer Fire Department is responding to numerous basement flooding calls.
The Kent School, a private boarding school with 580 students,will be closed through at least Sunday. Kent Center School is closed today, Tuesday. There will be no HVRHS/OWTS bus runs in or out of Kent today.
This declaration opens an uninterrupted line of communication with regional, state, and federal partners. This will also allow the Town of Kent to – if necessary - request public safety & public health resources, from a large selection pool.
There is no imminent threat to public safety. However, the movement of this ice jam and its lifespan is unknown.
Public roads/recreation areas that are closed or have limited access include:
- Route 7 between Route 341 and Bulls Bridge
- Schaghticoke Road
- River Road
- Bulls Bridge Recreation Area
- First Light Recreation Area
-The Housatonic River in these restricted areas
If you do reside near the river or in a low-lying area, you should always be monitoring water levels and ice buildup. If you do have an emergency, dial 911. If you have any non-emergency questions contact Susie Rundall, Kent Emergency Management Director, at (860) 706-3833.