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West Branch of the St. Regis River from route 11, Tuesday, April 15. Photo: Natasha Haverty
West Branch of the St. Regis River from route 11, Tuesday, April 15. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Flood update: SLC declares state of emergency, updated list of road closures

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North Country rivers are running high with snow melt. And officials are warning of more water to come. Two inches of rain, possibly mixing with snow, are forecast into Wednesday.

Officials say that could mean flooding across the region. NCPR is providing updates as the situation develops.

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Update, 7:50 p.m. St. Lawrence County Emergency Services shared this updated list of road closures on its Facebook page. These are the closures that had been reported to the county as of 7:30 p.m. 

•CR 53 N of congress in Brasher Falls to South of the West Mahoney Rd, flooding

•RT 420 ext at Maple St in Winthrop, bridge over the W branch St Regis River
•Days Mills bridge, on CR 49, in FT Jackson closed due to high water
•State Hwy. 58 Pope Mills closed, flooding
•Pestle St in Russell, flooding
•CR 15 just north of Rensselaer Falls is closed due to flooding and shoulder erosion 
•Bay Rd – Town of Fowler between Island Branch Rd and River Rd
•Talcville Rd. just west of CR 24, bridge closed due to high water
•BeeBe Rd, Town of Hopkinton, off State Hwy 72 , bridge washed out
•Hopson Rd, in Brasher, closed high water
•Munson Rd off CR 53 closed high water
•Brasher, bridge over the St Regis River on State Hwy 11C is closed
•Pyrites, Town of Canton Churchill St closed, water on Rd.

Update, 5:21 p.m. NCPR received a press release from the Lewis County Board of Legislators detailing the following road closures: Greg Road, Burdicks Crossing Road, River Road, Ward Road, Moose Road, Sears Pond Road, Ridge Road, Ryan Road, East Martinsburg Road, Denning Road, Henry Road, Blue Street, Zecher Road, Merz Road, Murphy Road, Shibley Road and bridge over Moose River, Steam Mill Bridge in Harrisville, VanAmber Road Bridge over Beaver River, Waters Road.

Update, 4:08 p.m. NCPR reporter Brian Mann is on the ground in the Adirondacks. He checked water levels at the AuSable, Boquet and Saranac rivers. He reports that the water's high, hovering around flood stage, but that rain has abated. There are some road closures, but no widespread damage.  

Update, 3:43 p.m.: NCPR received this press release from Franklin County office of emergency services. The full text is below.

PRESS RELEASE

The combination of snow melt and heavy rain have caused local rivers and streams to rise overnight resulting in widespread flooding of low lying areas in Franklin Co. 

ROAD CLOSURES known to Franklin County Dispatch:

-          County Route 14 (Red Tavern Road) down to 1 lane- Town of  Duane

-          College + Willow- Village of Malone

-          Willow + Lafayette- Village of Malone

-          Lafayette + Howard Ave- Village of Malone

-          County Route 41 (Fayetteville Road) Has water over it, BUT PASSABLE- Town of Malone

-          College Avenue- Village of Malone

-          Study Hill Road- Town of  Duane/Town of Malone

-          Dirt part of Cotter Road – Town of Bombay

-          Colds Springs Road down to 1 lane- Town of Bombay

-          Hemlock Ledge partially washed out- Town of  Tupper lake

-          Drum Street at the Marina- Town of  Fort Covington

-          Webster Street Road from Fish + Game Club (1310) to County Route 41 (Fayetteville Road)- Town of Malone

-          Church St. in Front of St. Regis Mohawk School- Hogansburg

-          McNeil Road- Hogansburg

-          St. Regis Road- Hogansburg

-          River Street- Hogansburg

-          Gray Road- Hogansburg

-          North Street (Church St.)- Hogansburg

-          Mill Street- Hogansburg

-          Pearl Street- Hogansburg

-          State Route 37 (600-700)- Hogansburg

-          Moose Pond Road – Town of Bloomingdale

-          Cold Brook Road – Town of Duane

-          Town of Brasher is closing down North Road at the Franklin/St. Lawrence County line.

 

Franklin County Office of Emergency Services Personnel and Franklin County Highway Personnel continue to monitor conditions and coordinate response efforts.

 

THE FRANKLIN COUNTY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES WILL PROVIDE UPDATES AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE.

***

Correction, Tuesday, 3:07 p.m.: The National Grid substation on route 53 serves 1,300 customers around Winthrop and Brasher Falls. National Grid spokeswoman Virginia Limmiatis says customers will not lose electricity if power to the substation is turned off. They'll be switched to another feeder. 

Update, Tuesday, 2:51 p.m.: 

St. Lawrence county officials are in the process of declaring a state of emergency because of flooding along the west branch of the St. Regis River in Winthrop and Brasher Falls. (More on the county's State of Emergency declaration here, from North Country Now.)
The towns of Stockholm and Brasher have also declared a local state of emergency. 
Bridges, roads and homes are flooding. Water has also inundated the National Grid substation on County Route 53. Power right now remains on. National Grid representatives are currently now investigating whether they should cut power to the station. That would leave Brasher Falls, Nicholville and Stockholm without power (See correction, above.)

Officials expect water levels to rise over the next 24 hours. There are no travel bans at this time.

***

Update, Tuesday, 12:02 p.m.:

The Little River in Canton, Tuesday, April 15. Photo: Martha Foley
The Little River in Canton, Tuesday, April 15. Photo: Martha Foley
Officials say heavy rain this morning has caused further flooding in the region. 1-2 additional inches of rain, possibly changing into snow, are expected later today.

In St. Lawrence County, there's localized flooding along the west branch of the St. Regis River. State route 420 is closed south of the Hamlet of Winthrop because of high water. 

The Day's Mills Bridge on county route 49 in Hopkinton is closed. 

County route 53 in Brasher Falls is closed. 

Pestle Street in Russell is closed between house numbers 84 and 241. 

Brookfield Power has opereated its emergency action plan due to high water levels at the South Edwards dam in Fine. 

St. Lawrence County emergency services director Michael Lecuyer says Brookfield is confident that the dam is structurally sound. He says that Brookfield had to activate the plan because of high water levels, but that there's little risk for dam failure. 

In Malone, Franklin County emergency services dispatcher Brent Boquette says he's been watching the water rise 2-3 inches since he started working at 4:30 a.m. this morning. 

He says that Webster Street from the Malone Fish and Game Club to county route 41 is closed. 

Lower Park Street is closed. 

Some streets in downtown Malone have been evacuated, including Patenod Street, Lafayette Street, Willow Street, College Avenue, and Howard Avenue. 

In Lewis County, Greig Road and Burdicks Crossing Road are closed due to water over the road. 

River Road, Ward Road, Moose River Road, Sears Pond Road and Ridge Road are closed. On Ridge Road, Cornell Cooperative Extension staff are working with a farmer to remove cattle because of flooding. 

Ryan Road, Jackson Road, East Martinsburg Road and Denning Road are also closed. 

***

Acording to the National Weather Servicemost of the North Country and nearly all of Vermont is under a flood watch.

Forecasters urge anyone traveling near streams and rivers to look for  higher ground at the first sign of rising water.

As of early this morning, the Weather Service was reporting minor to moderate flooding along sections of four North Country rivers.

The gauge at Ausable Forks in Essex County shows the east branch of the Ausable River half a foot above flood stage.

Forecasters say the Ausable could rise as much as two more feet over the next couple of days.

The Schroon River in Warren County has also reached flood stage north of Warrensburg, with minor to moderate flooding reported.

The National Weather Service is warning that major flooding is possible along the Schroon by tomorrow.

Minor to moderate flooding is also possible along sections of the upper Hudson River.  It’s near flood stage at Newcomb.

And the Racquette River is near flood stage at Piercefield.

So far, there have been no reports of serious damage or major flooding of properties.

St. Lawrence County is seeing sporadic flooding along the Oswegatchie River. Route 58 in Pope Mills was closed by water yesterday. Officials expect the road to remain closed until tomorrow. County route 5 in Rossie has been closed since the beginning of the melt and will remain closed. 

Michael Lecuyer is director of emergency services in St. Lawrence County.  He’s expecting conditions to get worse:

"The expectation is that as the rain comes down from the mountains the additional snow melting up there will add to the watershed and we'll see some additional waterlevels rise. The rivers are expected to crest again sometime during the day."

Lecuyer says people shouldn't try and drive through water covering a road. If water is encroaching on your house, Lecuyer encourages you to contact your municipality and the county to secure sandbags.

"Building barriers prior to the rain, water levels rising, would be the best avenue. If the water's already within a few feet of your home it might be too late but it would still a good idea to try and prevent that water from reaching your home," Lecuyer says.

The Watertown Daily Times reports that that homes along Black Lake are inundated by water and that some homeowners are sandbagging their properties and moving belongings to higher ground. 

The Weather Service reports the Black River at Watertown is eight-tenths of a foot above flood stage, with moderate flooding possible by tomorrow.

We'll be providing flooding updates here. To see your local weather forecast, visit our weather page

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