The lower Naugatuck Valley was hit hard during the floods of 1955.
There was not as much loss of life in the Valley as other towns, but the financial and physical damage to the region was catastrophic.
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The financial losses to the Naugatuck Valley topped $46 million, in part because so much business, transportation and industry was located in the flood plains.
Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Statewide, the financial cost of the floods was more than $185.5 million.
Source: Business and Defense Services Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Source: "Rehabilitation of Flood Damaged Locally Maintained Highways and Bridges," a report to the State Highway Department. By Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff. July 1, 1959
Downtown Seymour was hit particularly hard, as the raging waters of the Naugatuck River wiped out two city blocks, and everything in its path. The Bank Street bridge was damaged on the east side, making passage from one side of town to the other impossible. A cemetery was uprooted, sending caskets down river. And two women were killed, when the apartment building they were in was washed away by the raging waters.
Frank Haines can recall watching as water poured into his church at the corner of Broad Street and Derby Avenue in Seymour. The entire block was destroyed by the flood waters -- an entire library was leveled into a pile of bricks and wet books. Homes on the block were toppled. The road became mud. And yet, the First Congregational Church of Seymour remained standing. Here, Haines talks about the work involved in cleaning up the church.
Charles Seccombe recalls working on Main Street in downtown Ansonia the day of the flood.
Radio dispatches from the flood, where a reporter catches up with the police chief in Derby.
Ansonia police officer describes the scene in Ansonia.
Seymour was annihilated by the flood waters.