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Franklin County estimates flood costs at $11.5M

May 6, 2011
By JESSICA COLLIER - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

MALONE - Franklin County officials have increased estimates for the cost of flood damage within the county from $10.2 million $11.47 million, and that still doesn't count damage within the village of Tupper Lake.

The Franklin County Highway Department is estimating there is about $6.7 million worth of damage in the towns and about $4.8 million worth of damage to county-owned infrastructure.

At a Thursday meeting of the county Board of Legislators, county Manager Jim Feeley said the village of Tupper Lake isn't included in the estimates since flooding is still relatively active there. There were assessors on site in the village Thursday, but village and town Emergency Manager Carl Steffen said they most likely wouldn't have a number until sometime today.

Feeley said estimates are still preliminary and could go up or down as more assessments are done.

If the total damage across the region exceeds $25 million, New York may be eligible for federal aid. County Legislator Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake, said there's no doubt the state will reach that threshold.

"It's disastrous," Maroun said. "It's unbelievable. I've never seen it in my 59 years like this."

He encouraged flood victims to keep all records involved with the flooding and to take as many pictures as possible.

Legislator David "Billy" Jones, D-Chateaugay, visited Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake Wednesday to view the damage, and he said people in both villages were very grateful to the county for its help.

"It's quite a scene," Jones said. "The important thing is there's been no loss of life."

Feeley said the emergency workers and volunteers who have been helping out since flooding began should be recognized for the tremendous effort they've put in.

"Those volunteers have been there right from the get-go and haven't let up," Feeley said.

The county Highway Department's estimates include $110,000 worth of damage in the town of Franklin from eroded roads and culverts and a road closing, $50,000 in the town of Santa Clara from road erosion and closing the Blue Mountain Road, and $25,000 in the town of Brighton from support materials on the sides of the roads being washed away.

On top of that, between the town of Harrietstown and the village of Saranac Lake, there's $6.65 million in estimated damage. That includes damage to Pelkey Lane and the retaining wall below it; the village wastewater treatment plant, water line and sewer line repair under the river; all stone retaining walls in the village to the Essex County line; village dam and water treatment repair and foundation work; and the River Walk corridor and Park Island repair.

The estimate includes $27,500 for a culvert and road that eroded on Setting Pole Road in the town of Tupper Lake.

Damage to county infrastructure includes a number of roads that were eroded. It also lists a series of cracks on the Main Street bridge that runs over Lake Flower, a hairline crack in the blacktop and other repairs to the bridge to the Dorsey Street parking lot, erosion on the corner of the Woodruff Street bridge over the Saranac River and the bridge being knocked off piles, and chunks of concrete breaking lose on the Broadway bridge over the Saranac.



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