How Does Fairfield Flood?

Hurricane of 1953 - Quincy Street

This 1953 flooding photo is at the corner of Quincy Street, just southwest of Roger Sherman Elementary  School and the Fairfield Museum and History Center. 

Aerial Showing Flooding after Sandy

How does Fairfield flood?

During coastal storms and severe rain, storm surges from Long Island Sound swell the creeks flanking Fairfield’s shoreline neighborhoods, as well as the marshes lying between. The surges overcome our barrier beaches, and the flood waters can become trapped behind the barrier. After that, the waters can only be drained by running off into the sewer system or into creeks, or by pumping from the wastewater treatment system.  

When heavy rains impact our inland areas, Fairfield's flat coastal areas and town storm drains are quickly inundated with runoff and storm surges.  The storm drains cannot discharge water into the creeks until the tide recedes, so the rain is left within the drainage pipes, catch basins, and road surfaces until a tide change allows it to drain into the tidal creeks and marshes.

With rising sea levels, Fairfield is at risk for more frequent and heavier flooding. The town’s vulnerabilities include the homes closest to the shoreline and everything lying within the floodplain - including critical community infrastructure.