MALONE — A state of emergency was declared Friday on Lower Park Street as a 4,000-foot ice jam continued to force the Salmon River over its banks.
A steady flow of water was still running through back yards along the shore, across the street and into the front lawns of homes on the east side of Lower Park houses that had been evacuated earlier in the week.
Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru) postponed several appointments in Plattsburgh to visit Malone and see the flooding first-hand.
“I’m a visual person, and I can better understand what’s going on when I can see it for myself,” she said.
“We can’t do a whole lot until we have an estimate of the damage. Then we’ll be able to decide the next step.”
Duprey, bundled in a thick coat, scarf, gloves and boots against the 10-degree weather and sharp breeze, was already scheduled to meet with Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) later Friday and said she would also speak with Congressman Bill Owens (D-Plattsurgh) about what she saw and learned from the town and Franklin County officials who accompanied her.
“My heart breaks for the people who have had to leave their homes,” she said. “I’m not going to make any false promises, but I will be meeting with the congressman and senator and see what kind of help can be offered.”
Duprey praised the volunteers and employees who have helped the displaced families and worked to minimize the damages.
“They’re working with the short term, and we’ll have to look at the long term to see what can be done,” the assemblywoman said.
“It’s important for people to see what’s going on.”
Malone Town Highway Department crews used a front-end loader to taxi personnel into impacted homes in the 300 block of the street to retrieve items for owners forced out by the ice and flooding, said County Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost.