Snow chills out flooding after evacuations, road closures

Snow may have saved the day for communities threatened by flooding along the AuSable River Tuesday in Essex County.

Don Jaquish, Essex County emergency services director, said roadways were looking better this morning. About seven roads opened back up this morning in the county.

“Everything’s kind of slowing down,” Jaquish said. “The AuSable River receded.”

Bil Ferebee, town supervisor of Keene, seconded that opinion.

“It’s looking good,” Ferebee said. “It’s receded.”

Ferebee said the cold will stop the melting of snow overnight, pushing off any possible flooding until Thursday.

Today’s temperatures in the town of Keene and Lake Placid are expected to stay low, with a high of 32, according to the National Weather Service. It was 15 degrees this morning in Saranac Lake.

When asked if he thought the flooding would start back again after the snow melts, Jaquish said probably not.

“No, I don’t think it snowed enough,” he said.

The worst of the damage is flooded roads, Jaquish said. There were voluntary evacuations in Keene Valley Tuesday due to fear of worse flooding, which was expected to happen around midnight.

Chris Garrow, highway superintendent of the town of Jay, said all three of the roads that flooded there were opened back up this morning, including state Route 9 N.

“Route 9 (N) was flooded in about a 200-foot section,” Garrow said.

The road was closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Garrow said the state Department of Transportation opened it back up sometime this morning.

Around Lake Placid, River Road is back open as of this morning, but Carolyn Road is still closed, according to the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department.

Roads still closed in Franklin County

Not many flooded roads have reopened in Franklin County, with the exception of a few in the village of Malone, Franklin County Emergency Services reports. Officials there approximated that 15 roads were flooded out in the county Tuesday.

Ricky Provost, Franklin County’s emergency services director, said Tuesday that the worst of the flooding occurred along the Salmon River corridor.

Provost, along with the county’s highway superintendent, were out checking the closed roadways this morning as of 9 a.m. An emergency services official there said roads will be reopened as soon as possible this morning after the inspections are complete.