FORT COVINGTON — In Fort Covington, two of numerous households evacuated over the weekend remained vacant Tuesday because of Salmon River flood waters, Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill said.
The North Country Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping one of the displaced families, but the rest of those from the Salmon Street area are staying with friends and relatives, he said.
District 1 County Legislator Paul Lauzon (D-Fort Covington) said power was restored to the repopulated houses, but “the river is diverted, so the water is running over the lawns and in between the buildings.”
Thirty-seven people had to leave 17 homes Friday night due to flooding, with a total 24 residences roped off due to flooding.
Water had inundated the 17 houses, Franklin County Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost said on Sunday.
Mulverhill said State Police made a helicopter pass over the hamlet on Sunday to access the situation and reported a 5-mile-long ice jam from Fort Covington north right on to the St. Lawrence River.
Milder temperatures predicted for the next few days could play in the favor of the volunteer firefighters and first responders who have been on the job in bitter cold since late Friday to help their neighbors.
The sheriff said 40-degree daytime temperatures the next few days could break things up, but because of the huge clog in the river to the north, there is no way to know if the ice-jam problem will be cured.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were no concrete plans to take more aggressive measures against the massive ice, such as blasting portions of it.
A slew of officials are supposed to meet Wednesday morning to discuss further options as more information develops, Mulverhill said.
He praised the firefighters and all those who helped the families get to safety.
“The situation is bad, but it could have been worse,” he said.
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