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News stories tagged with "emergency"

USGS: flooding "off the charts"

Waters are still high as communities across the North Country and northern Vermont stare down the devastation of this spring's record floods.

Damages are in the millions, with reports still being tallied. Rivers are generally very high, but below flood stage. Lake Champlain was still well over 102 feet at the ferry dock in Burlington this morning, with the Weather Service predicting the water will go down very slowly.

New York Congressman Bill Owens toured parts of Essex County again Friday. According to the Plattsburgh Press Republican he's "very confident" President Barack Obama will declare a statewide disaster for New York and that aid will be available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Owens said, communities will see fast response with (aid for) municipal damages, bridges, roads. But he said aid for individuals may be slower."

The congressman also said he's been told this was a 500 year flood...

US Geological Survey hydrologist Tom Suro doesn't put that kind of number on the combination of rain and spring meltwater. But he says it's the worst in the USGS records, and something he never expected to see in his lifetime. He spoke with Martha Foley Friday.  Go to full article
This home's foundation has been wrecked by shifting earth
This home's foundation has been wrecked by shifting earth

Rainstorms trigger slide in Keene Valley, threatening homes

Weeks of relentless rain have destabilized a massive section of hillside in the Adrian's Acres neighborhood in Keene Valley, which sits on the slopes of Porter Mountain.

Town and state officials say an area roughly a half-mile wide has begun to shift, slumping downward several inches each day.

One vacation home has already been condemned, and one other house evacuated. At least four more homes are threatened.

Brian Mann was on Porter Mountain yesterday and has our story.  Go to full article

Bridge on schedule, despite flooding

Recent flooding pushed water levels on Lake Champlain to record heights, causing millions of dollars in damage and forcing people from their homes. It's stalled some parts of the construction of a new bridge across Lake Champlain between Crown Point, NY and Addison, VT. But according to New York officials, the overall timeline hasn't changed. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
An apartment complex in Plattsburgh. Photo: Brian Mann.
An apartment complex in Plattsburgh. Photo: Brian Mann.

Many flooded, but few insured

Now that the flood waters across much of the North Country have receded, the hundreds of property owners whose homes and businesses sustained damage are wondering how they're going to pay for repairs.

Many people impacted by the flooding didn't have flood insurance, which leaves them with few other options unless federal disaster aid becomes available. Chris Knight reports.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake Village workers last week, working on closing one of the gates after releasing some water. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Saranac Lake Village workers last week, working on closing one of the gates after releasing some water. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Damages emerge as floodwaters stabilize

The National Weather Service downgraded its flood warning to a "watch" along the Raquette River in St. Lawrence County. But the more severe warning stands in the Champlain Valley. Tupper Lake town and village officials have lifted the state of emergency there. Saranac Lake officials say they can now draw the swollen lakes outflow down about an inch a day.

As the waters recede, communities are getting closer looks at flood damages, with the help of federal emergency management teams.

Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
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

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.  Go to full article
Franklin County emergency services coordinator Rick Provost in Tupper Lake with DEC Commissioner Joe Martens), state environmental facilities head Matt Driscoll, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, and  Tupper Lake Supervisor Roger Amell.
Franklin County emergency services coordinator Rick Provost in Tupper Lake with DEC Commissioner Joe Martens), state environmental facilities head Matt Driscoll, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, and Tupper Lake Supervisor Roger Amell.

Officials scramble to assess flood damage

Flooding in parts of the North Country is expected to get worse before it gets better.

And even though water levels continue to fluctuate, state and local officials are trying to get a handle on how much damage has occurred so far.

In Saranac Lake two bridges that have been closed for more than a week were reopened early this morning. Village Manager John Sweeney says water levels dropped by about three inches overnight. Sweeney says county inspectors found no problems with any of the bridges in the village yesterday.

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Administration - or FEMA - were in Saranac Lake Thursday as well. Sweeney says they were focused on evaluating the state of public infrastructure, and may begin looking at some private properties today.

Meanwhile, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens toured flood ravaged neighborhoods in Tupper Lake.

Chris Morris was there and has this report...  Go to full article
Moose Pond Road. (Photo: Ed Kanze)
Moose Pond Road. (Photo: Ed Kanze)

High waters threaten woods and wildlife

Writer and naturalist Ed Kanze has been watching the swollen Saranac River wind closer and closer to his home near Bloomingdale. And he's watching for how the high water and sodden soils are affecting the wildlife he knows so well.

When Martha Foley called yesterday afternoon, the Kanze household was not quite surrounded by water...but close. Their road, the Moose Pond Road, has been under several feet of water since last week.

Neighbors have come together to lend each other a hand where needed, says Kanze. And he said they can't "fuss" too much since their house is high and dry on a knoll.

The water had gone down a little over the weekend, but yesterday the water was rising again.  Go to full article
Waves three feet high could hit the flooded Champlain coast this afternoon

Lake Champlain hits record flood stage again, briefly halting Amtrak

Many parts of the North Country were hit by more than two inches of rain yesterday. Onchiota in the Saranac River valley received the biggest dump -- with just over 2.5 inches.

For the first time ever, rain-swollen rivers pushed Lake Champlain to 103.1 feet, the highest level ever recorded, and the water is still rising.

Flooding in Lake Champlain's South Bay near Whitehall forced Amtrak to suspend train service between Albany and Montreal yesterday.

Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said train passengers were being taken by bus from Albany to Montreal.

Regular train service is expected to resume later today.

The National Weather Service is predicting stiff west winds this afternoon that could push 3-foot high waves against the shoreline.

Roads and homes along the coast of Lake Champlain have already seen millions of dollars in damage over the last week.

On Thursday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin told the Burlington Free Press that he expected "more bad news to come" for communities along the Lake Champlain shoreline.

Vermont transportation workers were working yesterday to shore up US Highway 2, which leads to the Champlain Islands and to the ferry crossing to New York.  Go to full article
Aerial photograph of sediment plume at New York's Ausable River (Source: Lake Champlain Basin Program)
Aerial photograph of sediment plume at New York's Ausable River (Source: Lake Champlain Basin Program)

Flooding pushes sediment, pollution into Lake Champlain

In the days since the flood began, researchers have been tracking huge plumes of sediment and phosphorous pollution being washed into Lake Champlain.

Aerial photographs taken by the Lake Champlain Basin Program show big swirls of brown and green, especially at the mouths of rivers.

When the weather finally warms up all that pollution could trigger algae blooms and other problems.

Brian Mann spoke with Bill Howland who heads the Lake Champlain Basin Program and who took part in the reconnaissance flights this week.  Go to full article

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