Wind, snow whip North Country

High winds and snow caused power outages and dangerous whiteouts in some areas around the region Thursday, but other parts of the Tri-Lakes got through the day without any issues.

The wind was blowing in a cold air mass that returned winter to the region after the second major thaw this January, in which temperatures in the high 50s Wednesday melted most of the snow. Rain fell Wednesday and overnight, turning to snow around 8 a.m. Thursday. The wind picked up shortly afterward and started to cause problems in the afternoon.

Amid whiteout conditions, Saranac Lake firefighters responded to two car accidents – a multi-car collision on state Route 86 in front of Adirondack Medical Center and a one-car crash on Lake Flower Avenue – as well as two reports of trees down.

Wilmington got hit hard, with wind reportedly knocking out most people’s electricity, serviced by New York State Electric and Gas.

Jay town Supervisor Randy Douglas said in an email that as of Thursday night, about 116 NYSEG customers didn’t have power in his town. A warming shelter was set up at the town Community Center on School Lane in AuSable Forks for people who needed assistance.

“If the need arises after this evening for a longer period of time we will open a full shelter (with food preparation) for as long as power outages remain,” Douglas wrote.

Douglas also urged his residents to check on their neighbors to make sure they are “warm and safe.”

National Grid also reported power outages in parts of Essex and Clinton counties Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters in Lake Placid said the community didn’t sustain any major damage from the wind. Volunteers only responded to two calls: power lines down near a residence on Hunter’s Way, and a tree smoldering on Bear Cub Lane.

State and village police in Tupper Lake said there weren’t any weather-related problems there Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Jay, concerns about flooding had eased by late Thursday morning. Douglas said in a prepared statement that the town didn’t sustain any damage as a result of temporary flooding caused by an ice jam.

“On behalf of the Town of Jay Town Board, Town of Jay DPW Director Chris Garrow and myself, I would like to thank the Emergency Service Personnel, the DPW Department and all County and State Officials for their help and quick response this morning as we prepared for the worst,” he said.

Flooding in Malone, caused last week by ice jams, started to subside Thursday, said Franklin County Emergency Service Director Ricky Provost.

“When I left last night, the water had got back into its natural channel and was out of Lower Park Street at that point,” Provost told the Enterprise this morning.

Ten houses were affected by the flooding, ranging from “basement flooding to some homes that had 30 to 40 inches of water in the first floor,” Provost said.

Provost said he didn’t get many reports of wind- or snow-related issues in his county Thursday.

“You know: a few trees down, power line calls – nothing extreme,” Provost said.