PLATTSBURGH — Due to flooding and high winds early Friday morning, Essex County declared a state of emergency and instituted a limited
The Essex County complex was closed and early voting at the Essex County Public Safety Building was canceled.
In a press release, the county’s Office of Emergency Services urged the general public to stay off the roads until further notice.
“If travel is necessary, practice extreme caution doing so.”
Beginning early Friday, roads in multiple Essex County towns started to close, including many spots along State Route 9N.
According to the county’s website, the bridge on Trout Brook Road in Minerva was washed out and the bridge on Forge Hollow Road in Moriah was closed as of 9:06 a.m.
The Boquet River flooded over Elizabethtown-Wadhams Road/County Route 8.
And a 10-foot-long section of road approaching the Lobdell Bridge that crosses that river about two miles south of Elizabethtown, was washed away.
In its press release, the Essex County Office of Emergency Services said the county had 57 road closures and 600 locations without power.
Additionally, the State Department of Environmental Conservation “evacuated several residents due to flooding via airboat in North Hudson.
“The Ausable River peaked at 11.5 feet, and has receded back to 11.27 feet.”
Due to a storm-damaged fiber optic line, 911 calls that typically go to Essex County Dispatch were rerouted to Clinton County Emergency Services.
In response to severe flooding of the Schroon River, the Town of North Hudson declared a state of emergency Friday morning that will continue for five days unless it is terminated or extended, according to a proclamation faxed to the Press-Republican.
During this period, all the town’s departments and agencies are “to take whatever steps are or may be necessary to protect life, property and public infrastructure, and to provide emergency assistance with respect to this situation.”
Friday evening, New York State Electric and Gas reported 2,296 customers in Clinton County, 5,841 in Essex County and 220 in Franklin County were without power.
National Grid also reported hundreds of customers affected by outages in Essex and Franklin County.
Customers can report downed power lines or power interruptions to NYSEG by calling 1-800-572-1131.
In a press release Friday night, NYSEG announced that it expects to restore 95% of customers impacted by 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3.
In an email, Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day wrote that the county experienced minor roadside flooding and some flooded basements.
“The greater impact has been damage to power, phone and data utilities as a result of high winds and falling trees, limbs and branches.”
County dispatchers handled more than 200 wind/storm-related calls, including an accident on Route 374 near Chazy Lake where a tow-behind camper and its vehicle were tipped over by high winds, Day wrote.
Fortunately, no significant injuries resulted.
Friday afternoon, six roads in the county had sections closed due to the weather.
“Verizon wireless service in various parts of the county, as well as other parts of the state, may be noted to be sluggish and this is reported to also be related to fiber optic line damage or storm-related impacts across the state,” Day added.
OAK STREET OUTAGES
City of Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read confirmed emergency outages at several Oak Street addresses that lasted from Friday morning to the afternoon were part of the high winds that swept through the region.
He said the city’s Municipal Lighting Department managed to stay ahead of things relatively well.
“The biggest problem we had was from a loss of power in one of the facilities we own in the Town of Plattsburgh that supplies water to the city and parts of the town and is an essential emergency water source for any fire along the town’s Route 3 corridor.
“Often, calamities like fires are associated with high wind events, so I am grateful that the MLD can keep our entire region a bit safer because of their diligence and assistance.”
School closures due to Friday’s weather included AuSable Valley Central School District, Boquet Valley Central School District, the Champlain Valley Educational Services Mineville campus, Moriah Central School, North Country Community College and Willsboro Central School District.
The Ticonderoga vs. Moriah Class D football championship game scheduled for Friday night in Plattsburgh, was postponed and re-scheduled for Monday.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is advising people to avoid Adirondack backcountry trails and summits for the whole weekend due to flooding in the region.
“DEC anticipates that damage in the backcountry will be extensive and that these areas are unstable and dangerous to visitors.”
They cited higher water levels, washed-out bridges, impassable stream crossings, flooded trails and summits that pose the danger of potential rock slides and falling debris.
For updates on trail conditions, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html.
READY TO HELP
United Way of the Adirondack Region Inc. CEO John Bernardi said his organization oversees VOAD, or Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, which is a coalition that provides preparedness and recovery efforts surrounding natural disasters.
VOAD mainly assess whether anyone in a disaster has experienced personal property damage or some other personal harm.
Bernardi said of the three counties, Essex County was hit the worst, so he has put out feelers to its Office of Emergency Management.
“VOAD is ready to help if the need is there.”
— Alvin Reiner contributed to this report.
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