No More Water!
The rains that fell from Hurricane Diane on August 18,1955, created Bristol’s worst natural disaster on record. In all, 14 inches of rain fell in about a day, causing damage well up into the millions. In the flood, 77 people lost their lives and it took years for the city to get back on track. When it did though, it made sure this would never happen again.
In the years following the 1955 flood, Bristol developed a good way to deal with the excess water from storms such as hurricanes. The state of Connecticut built three large dams to serve as retention basins for large amounts of excess rainfall. The dams built were the Northfield, Black Rock and Thomaston Dams that protect Thomaston and the Naugatuck River Valley.
In Bristol, construction of the Pequabuck River Conduit (which extends from the west side corner to the center of town) and the North Creek Conduit (which joins the Pequabuck River at Riverside Ave.) help control flooding. In addition to the conduits, the Pequabuck River has been widened, straightened and deepened in several spots and a dike has been constructed along the south side of Riverside Ave. Also, the West St., Central St., and Jerome Ave. bridges have been rebuilt under new specifications in which there are no piers in the middle to clog up the rivers. These changes make flooding in Bristol less likely than in the past.
The Bristol Press, 10/12/71.