TUPPER LAKE - Town and village officials declared a state of emergency Friday due to flooding after meeting with Franklin County Emergency Services officials.
As of 7:30 p.m. Friday, state Route 3/30 was open for one lane at a time to pass through the middle of the highway, where a few inches of space separated the water encroaching on each side. State police warned throughout the day that they would close the highway if the water completely covers it.
That closure would cut the community off to points east and block a major east-west highway across the North Country. The shortest detour between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake would be through Potsdam, which would add roughly two hours to what is normally about a half-hour drive.
Cars are let through a flooded state Route 3/30 east of Tupper Lake, near the Crusher boat launch, shortly before 11 a.m. Friday.
(Enterprise photo — Brittany Proulx)
Village trustees Chip Perham and Marty Hughes and town Deputy Supervisor Shawn Stuart decided to start the state of emergency Thursday and extend it for five days.
A command post has been set up at the village offices, and an emergency shelter is likely to be established at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
Village Mayor Mickey Desmarais was in Ray Brook Friday, attending an Adirondack Club and Resort adjudicatory hearing session and keeping abreast of the issue by phone. He said he planned to park his vehicle and wade through the road closure, then get a ride into town when the hearing session ended.
Desmarais said he didn't think there was any need to panic. He said the state of emergency was declared because it means the town and village can get reimbursed for overtime and other expenses associated with the flooding.
Meanwhile, Demars Boulevard remained closed in both directions between Santa Clara and Pleasant avenues after water overtook that portion of state Route 3 Thursday morning. Traffic was being detoured using Pleasant, McLaughlin and Santa Clara avenues.
Parts of Water Street and River Road were still flooded Friday evening.
Meanwhile in Long Lake, state Route 30 was closed from the Adirondack Hotel to the bridge over the lake, as well as in the Deerland area, near Emerson Road.
The towns of Long Lake, Indian Lake and Johnsburg have declared states of emergency.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.