Press-Republican

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April 21, 2013

Sometimes, weather wins

(Continued)

State officials are expected to detail the plans and figure out the best way to compensate the owners for their losses and help the town find a permanent solution to the flooding there.

Maneely said that could include raising the roadway by 10 feet.

EMBRACED BUYOUTS

Any buyouts could take as long as two years to complete.

The land on which those homes sit would be owned by the town; no permanent construction would be allowed so that future flooding of the river would not put property and residents’ lives there at risk ever again.

That was a solution embraced by the Village of Champlain, where buyouts removed all but one home on River Street and razed others on Main Street some years ago; AuSable Forks and Morrisonville also emptied some flood-prone land the same way.

And a number of homeowners in another section of AuSable Forks are waiting to learn the details of a possible buyout now, still reeling from sudden and dangerous flooding in May 2011 along with further devastation from Tropical Storm Irene in August of that year.

DEJA VU

Back in ‘82, a news release from Franklin County Office of Civil Defense included a passage that seems familiar to today’s woes: It had been determined, the agency said, that “there was no short-term solution or quick way of ending the present problem.”

But it said that keeping a channel open for the river water to run on Lower Park Street “prevented an even higher level of floodwater and ice from backing up and around the presently inundated structures.”

Both the State Department of Environmental Conservation and Army Corps said at the time “there was no way the present flooding could have been prevented,” and the DEC “ruled out use of dynamite” to break up the ice jams that caused it.

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