Federal government proposes to remove Ridgefield dam; causing concern for residents in flood zone
Ridgefield residents say they're frustrated with a study and proposal by the federal government to remove a dam in their town.
The dam is tucked away off of Danbury Road behind an office building and backs into Fox Hill condos.
Back in 2018, it was determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service that the dam was a high hazard and needed to be upgraded to meet stricter criteria since the dam was built. It's now proposing that if the dam was destroyed, it will reduce the threat of loss of life and property to people who live and work in a potential breach zone.
A resident tells News 12 she feels blindsided and believes removing the dam will put her home in a flood zone. Her son, William Ostrand, says there's a lack of transparency and still unanswered questions by residents living on potential impacted streets if the dam is removed.
Nancy Lincoln, 84, tells News 12 she would be impacted if the dam is destroyed. She says she received a letter in the mail from the USDA dated June 3 and given only one months' time to submit public comments.
The 20-year resident first learned about the government's assessment to remove this dam off Danbury Road in February 2020, which could impact the stream in her backyard.
Residents along Brookside Road says they've never experienced flooding in their neighborhood before, and the government does admit in the letter that "decommissioning the dam would adversely impact two downstream residents and 6 road crossings."
The Ridgefield first selectman says they will have a public meeting next Thursday to discuss the assessment with the community.