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May 16, 2013

Flood-buyout meeting tonight

MALONE — Lower Park Street residents with homes irreparably damaged by floodwater from the Salmon River will hear the buyout plans at a meeting tonight.

Town Supervisor Howard Maneely said 10 property owners have been invited, along with Town Council members and state and federal officials. 

The meeting, at 5 p.m. at the Town Offices at the Malone Dufort Airport, will also include Ricky Provost, director of Franklin County Emergency Services.

A representative of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Emergency Services will explain the mitigation process of buying out owners of the impacted properties along the 300 block of Lower Park Street.


That stretch has been the site of chronic flooding for decades, but the situation in January seemed to have been the final straw for many. 

A 4,000-foot ice jam blocked the river’s flow for two weeks, forcing the evacuation of homes on both the west and east side of Lower Park.

The river ran down the middle of the street, closing the roadway to traffic for days. 

Maneely declared a five-day state of emergency but extended it a few times until the ice jam broke up in warmer weather and allowed the river to recede within its banks.

During the worst of the flooding, a garage was torn from its foundation, and a motorist trying to drive through the water got stuck and ended up with a vehicle solidly frozen in place.

The Village Board waived its usual fee to hook into its municipal water system for one household where the septic system and well were compromised by the excess water.

The flooding has been attributed to removal of a dam near Titus Mountain Ski Family Center in 1997, when tons of silt were released into the Salmon, settling on the bottom and making the water shallow and easily frozen.

Email Denise A.

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