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Damage control continues along Vermont Rt. 2 through the Sand Bar State Park area. (Photos: Martha Foley)
Damage control continues along Vermont Rt. 2 through the Sand Bar State Park area. (Photos: Martha Foley)

Damage control, assessment continue along Lake Champlain

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Along Lake Champlain, the rain-free few days doesn't mean the flooding, or the emergency, is over. The national weather service says it could be two to three weeks before the lake drops and the flooding recedes. And it's going to be longer than that before counties and communities know how much it's going to cost to fix the damage to roads, bridges and utility systems.

The process of seeking federal aid for the disaster has begun. Congressman Bill Owens was in Plattsburgh yesterday surveying the damage. Martha Foley has more.

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Debris-laden surf surges through the park's picnic area.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

Along Lake Champlain, a rain-free few days doesn’t mean the flooding, or the emergency, is over. The national weather service says it could be two to three weeks before the lake falls below flood stage. Officials say wind and waves continue to threaten shorelines and neighborhoods still inundated by standing water.

Vermont Rt. 2 winds through the Champlain Islands.Yesterday, water still covered parts of one lane. A north wind was driving debris-laden surf through the Sand Bar State park’s picnic area. Waves surged into fresh stone reinforcing both sides of the causeway. William Jordan was flagman for a loader reinforcing Rt. 2 near the park. He said they’d been working since last Monday. He estimated crews had dumped a couple thousand tons of rock along both sides of the road.

The dollar value of the flooding damage won’t be known until the waters have receded and things have dried out a little.

New York Congressman Bill Owens was in Plattsburgh yesterday. He said, “In many communities you have individual homes whose basements, foundations may be ruined—and their septic systems and water systems could be ruined or contaminated.

The complicated process of seeking federal aid for the disaster has begun. Owens says the state of emergency that’s been in effect in Clinton County since April 29th is the first step.   The congressman says the  Federal Emergency Management Agency will be a vital source of much-needed cash, “To the extent that people have insurance, they’ll get some relief from that, but to the extent they don’t have insurance, which is the case for many people, they’re going to be relying almost solely on FEMA to give them the funds to do this repair work.

People who can’t get back into their homes can shelter at the Crete Civic Center in Plattsburg. And Clinton County’s office of emergency operations says people should seek information at its website, Clintoncountygov.com.

The Associated Press reports that volunteers in Burlington, Vt., are continuing to fill sandbags to prevent more damage from Lake Champlain flooding.

People are encouraged to bring their own shovels, to Leddy Park at 4 p.m. The sandbags will be distributed to affected neighborhoods.

And there's reason for some optimism in Quebec's flood-plagued Richelieu Valley, southeast of Montreal. After water levels fell up to 10-centimetres yesterday, officials predict levels will likely drop five-centimetres each day.Still, about three-thousand homes in the region are flooded.

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