Local area being monitored for floods

Flooding hadn’t taken hold of the area as of this morning, but local officials are monitoring the lakes and rivers closely.

So far, the only flooding reported to Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish was in Elizabethtown. Hurricane Mountain Road was washed out in places, and Roscoe Road had water covering parts of it.

Elizabethtown declared a limited state of emergency, “just as a precautionary measure,” Jaquish told the Enterprise this morning. “We’ll be monitoring things as they go.”

“Monitoring” was the word of the day in Franklin County as well, especially Saranac Lake.

“Nothing as of yet,” said John Bashaw, deputy director for Franklin County Emergency Services. “I spoke with everybody this morning. Everything’s stable. Water hasn’t shown any signs of increasing in Saranac Lake, which is the goal here today.”

Saranac Lake village Manager John Sweeney said at about 8:30 a.m. that water levels were down about a half-inch this morning from where they were Thursday. He said the village is trying to find out what to expect from the state Department of Environment Conservation’s locks upstream, but besides that, things look good.

“Yeah, actually, we look OK,” Sweeney said.

Bashaw said that despite serious flooding of rivers in the northern end of the county earlier this year, the main concerns this week are the lakes. The river levels are a little higher than normal, but nothing that should be a problem, he said.

“We’re worried about all of it, but right now we’re going to take it as it comes,” Bashaw said. “Not much we can do about it at this point, just monitor it.”

The National Weather Service extended a flood watch through 8 p.m. today that was originally set to expire this morning for almost the entire North Country and much of Vermont.

According to warnings on the organization’s website, flooding was expected to shift from Vermont to the northern New York area today.

“Areas in the northern Adirondacks and the Champlain Valley of New York can expect sharp rises on smaller rivers and streams and eventually these waterways overflowing their banks,” the warning read. “Roads will be flooded and or washed out. These situations will be occurring during the morning commute, thus be especially cautious when driving. Do not drive through flooded roads. Turn around and don’t drown.”

The NWS advises people who encounter flooding to seek higher ground.