Often in towns and cities that have experienced catastrophic floods at some point in time markers are placed at the highest point the floodwaters reached. These disintegrate and disappear, like memories of the floods themselves, which remain only in those living witnesses, or in the minds of listeners who have heard first hand accounts of “the great flood of ’55.”
When coming on such a marker, which may remain in some out of the way place, all one conceives is how high the water must have been in relation to oneself, above one’s head at that spot, for example. Looking around the area, it is hard to envisage of the full scope and massive expanse of such calamitous torrents based on a lonely marker peeling or fading away.
My proposal is to create a fuller and more complete experience of the scale of the flood which devastated many CT towns in the summer of 1955, when the Farmington River, deluged with the torrential rains of Hurricanes Connie and Diane, and without the protection of upstream dams swept through the valley, causing deaths and massive destruction.
Through the placement of dashed blue lines of tape in sections on many of the buildings and other physical features in Unionville, depending on expense and willingness of other patrons and residents, I plan to give a fuller perception of a horizontal plane of water at the maximum height when the flood peaked. A blue dashed “cross section of space.” These dashed sets of lines, in overall lengths of three to four feet (see photos) will be positioned throughout the town so that several or more can be seen at once, nearby and at different distances, from multiple vantage points. Through this marking, I hope to give the viewer a much more complete experience of the great flood of ’55, its expanse and mass – being all the volume contained between the marked dotted plane and the ground—than traditionally employed indicators.
For over a century, the Farmington River was the source and strength of industrial CT. This project is intended as a reminder of our dependence, interaction and history in relation to the river and its powerful potential.