‘Flash floods wreak havoc’ (Enterprise headline, Oct. 23, 1995)
The storm story, by Katy Odell Wilson, had a subhead: “Portion of Route 73 closed; landslide damages Whiteface Mountain.”
“Sections of area highways have gaping holes and part of Lower Whiteface Mountain remains buried in mud and rocks after Saturday’s torrential rain caused damage throughout the region.
“A number of roads were closed or restricted in Essex County on Sunday due to flooding from heavy rains in the area Saturday night; the Atmospheric Research Center on Whiteface Mountain Recorded 4.2 inches of rainfall Saturday. By this morning, the only highway that remained closed was Route 73 between Keene and Lake Placid, state police said. The right-hand west-bound lane just below the Cascade Lakes collapsed in a 200-foot section where water flooded a culvert under and over the road. The state highway in the town of Keene could be closed for two to three weeks for repairs; Essex County Disaster Preparedness Director Ray Thatcher was out visiting the site this morning, along with Keene Supervisor Robert Purdy and Department of Transportation officials. …
“State police reported that states of emergency were declared in Keene and Wilmington Saturday night and remained in effect through Sunday afternoon. Sixteen people in Keene were reported evacuated because of the flooding and at least one home sustained structural damage. More than a dozen travelers trapped in the area were lodged by the Red Cross at local motels, according to the state police. …
“Though state police in Ray Brook reported the damage at Whiteface as being in the millions, ORDA interim president Ray Pratt was reluctant to mention any estimates, saying insurance representatives were on the scene Sunday and that an adjustor would pay a visit to Whiteface today.
“By Sunday afternoon, earth-movers were already pushing through the debris, and ORDA officials were optimistic about the upcoming ski season, despite the unexpected event.
“‘We are going to open on time,’ emphasized Pratt. ‘There’s no question about that.'”
That statement is so typical Ray Pratt. I was transferred to work directly for Ray as his trouble-shooter — it sounds much better than gofer — in 1979 with one year left before the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. If Ray told you something, you could take that to the bank.
There were a couple of other page 1 stories that would have been the lead stories if it were not for the storm coverage.
“Two in jail for PSC dining hall blaze” (by Andy Flynn)
“Two Paul Smith’s College students accused of burning down the college’s Longtin Dining Hall early Friday morning remain in the Franklin County Jail this morning without bail, according to Franklin County Sheriff’s Department officials.
“(Nickolas Nerk), 19, of Bombay and (Pete Moss), 19, of Gansevoort, were arrested Friday and charged with one count of third-degree arson, a class C felony. They were arraigned before Brighton Justice Nik Santagate and then remanded to the Franklin County Jail.”
I went to work at the college a short time later, when we had all our meals in the gym, which had been converted to a cafeteria.
“Suspicious fire guts LP Club Cottage’ (also by Ms. Wilson)
“The unoccupied ‘Colden’ cottage on the Lake Placid Club property was severely damaged Saturday night in what officials are saying is the third suspicious fire this year.
“Lake Placid firefighters were called to the blaze at 10:25 p.m. Saturday after a neighbor had observed the blaze. The cottage is located at the edge of the club golf course and adjacent to another vacant structure and at least two occupied houses. …
“The ‘Colden’ fire was the third suspicious one on club property this year. On May 19, an early morning fire gutted the Mount Whitney ski lodge … And on May 2, a fire at the unoccupied ‘Larches’ cottage was contained by firefighters.”
Correction, screw-up, cover-up
What can I say about the confusion caused by last week’s column? My readers were confused; so was I. The sports stories were from the Enterprise of 1967.
BUT NOT THE HOCKEY STORY. The hockey team pictured — I believe Coach Gilligan would agree that it was one of the best of that era — was from the 1970-71 season. My son Keefe was one of only two sophomores on the team. Someone gave me the hockey team picture after I had discovered the 1967 Enterprise with the Goetz story, etc. Then after Keefe had so carefully identified the players, I named Bill Cantwell in the back row as his brother Barry — whom I had already been identified as Barry in the front. You all got that?
I have tell this story about Bill Cantwell. The Redskins were in a game in the Lake Placid Olympic Arena, and Percy Drouin was ref. (Only one ref then.) Bill thought he scored a goal, Percy whistled it down, no goal, and the faceoff, obviously, was in the opponents’ end. Bill took the faceoff, but when Percy dropped the puck, Bill grabbed it off the ice, skated over and threw it into the net behind the goalie, and, I guess, said to Percy, “Is that in the net?”
I watched, we all laughed, and Bill got kicked out of the game.
And my pal Rick Meyer sent a note with an explanation of the mixup.