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May 26, 2013

Ausable River flooding expected in Jay

(Continued)

Red Cross Regional Response Manager Cheryl Murphy said they’re on alert and ready to open a shelter if needed.

“We are ready and willing to work with the American Red Cross to get meals for residents if the need arises,” Shelley Thwaits of the AuSable Forks Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary said.

First Assistant Chief Mike Cross of the AuSable Forks Fire Volunteer Fire Department said they have rescue boats on standby and ready to put into service.

“It’s assuring that we have met and that emergency personnel are monitoring roads and currently there is no urge to evacuate,” Keene Town Supervisor William Ferebee said. “We will review National Weather Service information again tonight (Saturday).”

“We’re hoping the rain will clear out and there will be no major damage,” AuSable River Association Executive Director Corrie Miller said. “But, if there is extreme flooding and a need for work in the river, the Ausable River Association will be on call to provide technical assistance to DPWs and contractors so they can protect the health of the river ecosystem at the same time as protecting people and property.”

Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish and Clinton County Emergency Director Eric Day have been monitoring the National Weather Service reports, and reported at 2:40 p.m. Saturday the river was at 6.9 feet.

It was anticipated that the water would crest at 9 feet and start to recede after midnight Saturday. Minor flooding begins at 7 feet, severe flooding at 13 feet.

“Anybody that lives along the river (Keene Valley to Keeseville) that is prone to flooding, please watch the water levels into the evening and be prepared to evacuate if necessary,” Jaquish said.

“The AuSable Forks Volunteer Ambulance will be on standby, for we now operate 24 hours,” according to Ambulance Chief Bill Minogue.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also pledged the state’s aid, Douglas said.

“He has offered any New York state assistance should the need arise. We are most thankful for all Governor Cuomo’s help in the past and as we prepare for any future possible flooding.”

Emergency officials were monitoring the river overnight and would respond immediately if flooding occurred, Douglas said.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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