MORIAH — Anna Mayhood thought something wasn't quite right about the Broad Street Bridge here.
At about 4 a.m., in the dark of early morning, the Mineville woman stopped her car on the bridge and felt the structure buckle beneath the passenger side of her sport utility vehicle.
As part of the bridge collapsed into the raging stream below, the SUV caught on the broken roadway.
The only thing going through her mind was "get out of the car," Mayhood said.
She shoved the door open and jumped to the road.
"I had been watching the weather and keeping an eye out, but there's normally no water running through there," she said. "At least no one was hurt. It could have been a school bus or something."
SECOND BRIDGE FALLS
The Broad Street Bridge, a railroad overpass, collapsed at about 4 a.m. Wednesday, undermined by flood waters after nearby Mill Brook jumped its banks.
Hours later, at 7 p.m., Moriah's flooding crises continued when the Titus Road Bridge collapsed into Mill Brook.
No one was hurt, said Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish.
He said the Mill Brook Dam overflowed after Tuesday night's torrential storm, which caused many of the flooding problems in the town.
ROAD GAVE WAY
Wednesday night, Mineville-Witherbee Fire Chief Paul Tromblee's condition was listed as "fair" at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.
He had suffered a cervical injury early in the day when a section of the Witherbee Road near Silver Hill Road collapsed under his car.
A home on Witherbee had been flooded, and Tromblee was headed there, said Port Henry Fire Chief James Hughes.
"The road just gave way. It was undermined by all the water, from Moriah Center up to Witherbee."
The Town of Moriah, which includes Port Henry and several hamlets, was among the hardest hit in Essex County by the flooding.
"It was a long night," Hughes said as a power shovel removed debris from Mill Brook where it intersects with Dock Lane off Route 9N/22 in Port Henry.
There, the stream jumped its banks and flooded homes at the bottom of Convent Hill, among them the one where Sandra Easter lives.
"We rigged a boat with two firefighters in it," Hughes said. "We retrieved Mrs. Easter and her cat. The whole area was under water."
Boyea's Restaurant on Dock Lane had planned to open for the season Wednesday, but its outside coolers were carried away by the floodwaters, and the bridge was closed pending inspection by a State Department of Transportation engineer.
Griffith Home Energy and the Flatiron Construction staging area on Dock Lane were also unreachable, except by foot.
It wasn't long before Moriah Town Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava declared states of emergency in both Moriah and the Village of Port Henry.
"At the bottom of Convent Hill, houses and cars are under water," he said Wednesday morning. "There's a car hanging off the Broad Street Bridge. "It's unreal."