Wild weather rips through region

Falling tree limbs knocked down power lines and a power line pole on Clinton Avenue in Saranac Lake on Friday amid high winds. A National Grid outage map showed an outage there affecting eight customers starting at 11:40 a.m. The outage was restored by 5:27 p.m. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Marbone)

SARANAC LAKE — The National Weather Service in Burlington issued a flood warning for the East Branch of the AuSable River and a wind advisory for the North Country on Friday and warned of a possible tornado in the Champlain Valley.

Trees, power lines and utility poles were downed in Saranac Lake Friday as heavy winds blew through the Tri-Lakes region. A wind advisory for parts of northern New York and Vermont was in effect from the early morning hours to 2 p.m., with southeast winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts up to 55 mph expected. The strongest winds were forecast for the western slopes of the Adirondack and Green mountains.

The East Branch of the AuSable River spans from the town of Keene through the town of Jay and merges with the West Branch at AuSable Forks. A flood warning was issued late Friday morning and was in effect through the late evening, with minor flooding expected. Heavy rain and thunderstorms moved through the region late Friday afternoon.

At 10:25 a.m. the stage was 6.8 feet on the East Branch, and the NWS said the river was expected to rise above flood stage late in the morning and crest at 7.4 feet by early afternoon.

Town of Jay Supervisor Matt Stanley said around 1:30 p.m. that any flooding would be minor, and he didn’t expect any roadways to be impacted.

A tree was blown over in high winds on Friday, landing on the garage of a home on the corner of Keene Street and Broadway in Saranac Lake. Nora Donnelly heard the tree fall. She said it did a lot of structural damage to the garage, rented by Ryan Hathaway, and that the garage will likely need to be torn down. “But no one was injured and everyone is safe,” Donnelly said. (Provided photo — Nora Donnelly)

“We’re not too worried about anything,” Stanley said.

In the town of Keene, Essex County Emergency Services reported at 12:21 p.m. that Holt Road was closed due to flooding.

“That is a super-low-lying area,” Keene town Supervisor said around 1:45 p.m. as he was inspecting state Route 73 around Marcy Field. Across the road is the town beach along the East Branch. “We’ve been getting rising water.”

The river had risen to the edge of Route 73 at the time, Wilson said, but it was not immediately threatening the highway.

At 7.0 feet, minor flooding can occur in Keene with water beginning to overflow onto Hulls Falls Road, Route 73 and Route 9N near Marcy Field, according to the NWS.

In the early afternoon, the NWS in Burlington also warned the public of a possible tornado as a cold front approached.

“Isolated strong to severe storms cannot be ruled out this afternoon from northeastern New York into Vermont,” NWS Burlington posted on its Facebook page. “A brief/weak tornado or locally strong gusts will be possible.”


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