‘We made out pretty well’ from storm Isaias

Torrential rain washed out at least nine dirt roads in the town of Jay, but the AuSable River didn’t flood like it was expected Tuesday and Wednesday. Overall, officials said the Tri-Lakes area weathered Tropical Storm Isaias without much damage.

“It was less rain than we expected,” Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish said. “We made out pretty well.”

“We needed the rain, and we got it,” said Robert Haynes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Burlington, Vermont. “I think most this rain is beneficial for our area. Thank goodness we didn’t see any flooding.”

Wind from the storm knocked some trees onto electric lines, which led to some scattered power outages — though far fewer than those seen around the Capital Region, stretching as far north as Schroon Lake.

While other areas were harder hit, the Adirondacks saw their rain and wind peak overnight Tuesday-Wednesday. The rain rushed down from the High Peaks into the tributaries of the AuSable River, which peaked at 7.6 feet at its gauge at AuSable Forks. That is above the 7-foot flood level, but town and county officials said no real flooding was reported.

“It was very little flooding — no issues,” Jaquish said.

“We got off easy: no damage!” Keene town Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson Jr. said.

“The river itself and all its tributaries did not cause the problem,” town Public Works Superintendent Kevin Zaumetzer said of the washouts “None of them broke out of their banks — not a single one.”

Nevertheless, he said, the rain itself proved too much for several dirt roads the town manages.

“I had no flooding to speak of, but the torrential rains did a number on (at least nine) of our dirt roads. We in the town of Jay declared a state of emergency so we can start to get rolling.”

Zaumetzer said he knows Nugent, Lincoln, Stonehouse, Black Mountain, Mohawk, Cayuga, River, Whitetail and Jay Mountain roads have washouts, and “There could be more.” His department has already ordered 800 tons of gravel to repair them, but he is not sure if that will be enough.

The National Weather Service reported that Keene and Jay got the most local rainfall with 2 to 3 inches. Whiteface Mountain got 1.93 inches, the town of Saranac got 1.88, the village of Saranac Lake got 1.5, Tupper Lake got 1.35 and Malone got 1.24 — all between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Power was out most of Wednesday morning in Ray Brook, affecting more than 70 National Grid customers. The outage involved a tree burning on a utility pole next to the State Police barracks, according to multiple sources.

Lake Placid Municipal Electric Superintendent Kimball Daby said, “We had a few tree problems, and we probably had about 40 customers impacted on the Whiteface Inn Road.” He estimated that outage lasted 30 to 45 minutes.

National Grid also reported small outages in Bloomingdale and Lake Titus Wednesday morning.

Saratoga County, however, at one point more than 19,000 customers without power on the National Grid outage map, according to The Post-Star of Glens Falls. Rain was also heavier in the Capital Region than in the Adirondacks — almost 4 inches at Albany International Airport — and some roads were flooded.


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