SARANAC LAKE - Just when it seemed like the water level was beginning to recede, a storm delivered heavy rain overnight and this morning, leaving the area's lakes, rivers and streams swollen again.
A torrent of water was surging over the Lake Flower Dam and through its open floodgates this morning in downtown Saranac Lake. Village Department of Public Works Superintendent Robert Martin said the floodgates will remain open about 40 inches to try to keep the lake from getting too high.
"The lake was starting to go down and the river started to recede a little bit yesterday, but now with this heavy rain it's probably going back up again," he said this morning. "The amount of runoff we've had has been pretty good."
Water surges over the Lake Flower Dam in the village of Saranac Lake this morning.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
Martin said he had no reports of any flooding problems in the village so far; however, the water level in the river was so high this morning that it was lapping up against the dining area of the former Dew Drop Inn.
Before the recent heavy rains, local waterways were already swollen from the melting of several feet of snow that fell over the winter. Several docks on Lake Flower had been submerged under the water, which extended onto a number of low-lying waterfront properties. Downstream, the high water had pushed the Saranac River over its usual channel, onto farm fields, roads and properties along the river.
The National Weather Service in Burlington, Vt. said the heavy downpours were expected to move into Vermont by late this morning, though rain and possibly some snow were forecasted in the Saranac Lake area through the rest of the day.
The Weather Service had issued a flood warning for Lake Champlain at Rouses Point today.
Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish said this morning that he hadn't heard of any reports of flooding.