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Major flooding in Moriah; roads closed in Lake Placid area

April 27, 2011
By NATHAN BROWN - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID - There was flooding throughout the area this morning, with the town of Moriah the worst hit.

Officials were doing damage assessment this morning, but Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish said there had been "major problems" in Moriah - roads washed out, car accidents due to people driving on washed-out roads and cars underwater.

Jaquish said the Port Henry village beach was underwater and numerous homes had also been evacuated. The bridge on Broad Street, one of the town's main roads used by about 5,000 cars a day, is also washed out. Jaquish said a young woman was driving across the bridge when it happened. Her car was stuck, but she managed to get out before it fell into the ravine.

Article Photos

Neighborhood dog Tucker, whose owner lives on River Road in Lake Placid, splashes in the flooding of the West Branch of the AuSable River that caused the road’s closure this morning. The flooding also caused delays at the nearby Mountain Lake Academy, a private boys school.
(Photo for the Enterprise — Eric Voorhis)

River Road in the town of North Elba and state Route 9N between Jay and AuSable Forks were closed this morning. Around 8 a.m., state Department of Transportation officials closed state Route 86 between Wilmington and Lake Placid, according to the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department. Part of U.S. Route 9 in Elizabethtown is also closed.

AuSable Valley schools were closed today.

"In Jay, North Hudson, Lake Placid, there's a lot of flooding issues, road washouts," Jaquish said. "The ones in Moriah involve not only roads but houses and cars and people."

State troopers in Ray Brook said there had been no reports of damage to homes or car accidents caused by the flooding in their patrol area.

The entire area is under a flood warning due to the combination of rain and melting snow. It is expected to continue to rain today.

"They say another front of showers is coming in, which we definitely don't need," Jaquish said. "We'll see how it goes. We've got sandbags together," and other supplies.

Jaquish said the first reports of homes flooding in Moriah came around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

"We're talking about walls of water hitting houses and coming down stairwells," Jaquish said.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas of Jay said this morning that his town, and possibly the county, might declare a state of emergency due to the flooding. He was out this morning with the highway department, evaluating the damage, but he said that a number of roads were closed in Jay, and a couple of homes were flooded.

Jaquish also said an Adirondack Arc group home for developmentally disabled people on Trout Pond Road in Lewis had been evacuated due to the flooding.

Moose Pond Road in Bloomingdale, which crosses the Saranac River, was flooded again this morning, according to Tony Elrod, who lives on the road. He said the water wasn't as deep as it was April 13 when the road was impassable, but Elrod said it might be difficult for a small car to get across.

"I just watched a neighbor drive out, and it was up to the running board on his pickup," Elrod said. "You can get by in a truck, but you're not going to run a small car through without getting wet."

Elrod said the flooding this year has been particularly bad.

"We've been here 10 years, and this is definitely the worst year I've ever seen," he said.

State troopers based in Tupper Lake said roads near Raquette Lake were full of water but none had to be closed, nor did the flooding lead to any vehicles off the road or other problems.

In Loon Lake, a large amount of water had gathered around the National Grid power lines near Kushaqua-Mud Pond Road and had created "a huge delta into Loon Lake," depositing all the materials it gathered into the lake, according to Kenneth Swayze, who lives on the road.

The roads in that area are fine, Swayze said.


Staff Writers Jessica Collier and Chris Knight contributed to this report.



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