Press-Republican

Local News

April 28, 2011

Moriah tackles storm damage

MORIAH — Kelli Valentine of Moriah awoke Wednesday morning to find Ensign Pond Road had washed out both east and west of her house.

She was isolated.

"I didn't know what to do."

WALKING BRIDGE

She still has electricity and telephone service, so she contacted the Essex County Department of Public Works — since Ensign Pond Road is a county road — to get some help.

"They're putting in a walking bridge for me. Today, they put in planks so my children and I could walk across."

Valentine, who has three small children, said she called someone to pick them up on the other side of the washout.

"I can't put a car on the other side because I can't get my car out."

Valentine still managed to make it to work as manager of the Port Henry Stewart's Shop.

"It has been a busy day," she said Thursday. "I hope they fix my road soon, at least the culvert on the Moriah side."

Culverts on Ensign Pond Road, which connects Moriah with Route 9 in North Hudson, washed out during the storm, county officials said, and must be replaced before the road can be repaired.

'OVERWHELMED'

Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said his town has two collapsed bridges and at least a dozen roads closed due to washouts and flooding.

"We're trying to line equipment up now with other towns. We're overwhelmed. We don't have the money, manpower or equipment to do it all. We'll work with other towns through mutual-aid contracts."

One issue, he said, is that the detour around the collapsed Broad Street Bridge uses the remote Forge Hollow Bridge, which needs an engineering inspection to make sure it can handle the traffic.

The town has barred heavy trucks and buses from the Forge Hollow Bridge because of that, he said.

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