Press-Republican

Local News

June 29, 2013

Cuomo declares flood emergency

ELIZABETHTOWN — Flooding in the North Country and other counties prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to issue a disaster declaration Friday.

He offered state monitoring and assistance for Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, as well as Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Tioga, Schoharie. St. Lawrence and Warren.

It was a busy day for first-responders, who were coping with flooding and power outages around the North Country.

Both branches of the Boquet River in Essex County jumped their banks about 10 a.m., closing numerous roads and causing some residents in Elizabethtown to be temporarily evacuated.

In Franklin County, National Grid had 3,000 customers without power Friday morning.

EVACUATIONS

Roiling muddy, brown water from the Boquet flooded a low-lying trailer park by Noble Terrace and forced evacuation of apartments and businesses on lower Water Street.

The town hill entrance to Water Street was closed by highway officials about 10:30 a.m.

Elizabethtown Town Highway Superintendent Mike Drew said many side roads in town were either flooded or undermined by water.

The storm blew in overnight, but the water really started to rise in the morning.

Several sections of Route 9 had to be closed down Friday, as were, at times, Otis Lane, Scrivner Lane, Gilligan Road, Fox Run Road and Hurricane Lane.

“We’re closing Water Street,” Drew said, pointing to where water was pressing against the bridge that draws traffic from Route 9 into the heavily populated downtown street. The river had risen about two feet in two hours.

Town Councilman Ben Morris was at the intersection with several local businessmen, including his brother, Matt Morris, and Wayne Shepard.

“We’re preparing for the worst,” Ben said. “We feel it’s a precaution to get people out of the downtown area.”

Plans were made to open a shelter at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School for people displaced by flooding, but it was not needed in the end.

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