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North Elba could have $250K in road damage

May 4, 2011
By NATHAN BROWN - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID - The town of North Elba may be looking at a quarter-million in damage to town-owned roads alone from recent flooding.

More than a half-dozen town-owned roads were damaged by the flooding, as was about 10 feet of sidewalk on Mirror Lake Drive near Mount Whitney Road, town Highway Superintendent Larry Straight told the town board at a work session Tuesday afternoon.

The damage to Evans Road alone will likely cost more than $100,000 to fix, Straight said. When other damage is added in, the damage could cost $250,000 or more to fix, town Supervisor Roby Politi estimated.

"We'll probably spend much of our summer repairing roads and not doing an awful lot of paving," Straight said.

There has also been a good deal of damage on Essex County-owned roads in the town, notably River Road, which the county Department of Public Works has estimated will cost $75,000 to repair. The county-owned Whiteface Inn Road has also sustained an estimated $30,000 worth of damage.

Riverside Drive has flooded twice this year, on April 11 and 12 and again on April 27 through 29. Two people had to be evacuated due to last week's flooding, Politi said.

Thunderstorms dumped more than 2.5 inches of rain on the area a week ago, leading to flooding throughout the area over the ensuing few days and more than $10 million in estimated damage in Essex County. Officials throughout the area are keeping track of the value of all damage to public infrastructure in hope that the state will cross the $25 million threshold needed for a federal emergency declaration, which would bring federal aid to help rebuild.

Municipal parklands were also damaged. The storm ripped out part of the dock at the beach on Mirror Lake, and there were washouts at Craig Wood Golf Course, said Butch Martin, manager of the North Elba Parks District.

Martin said his first priority at the golf course, which sustained the most damage, would be to repair bridges and cart paths to make sure they're safe so the golf course can open for the season.

"It's going to be an ongoing repair thing, probably throughout the summer," Martin said.

Martin also said the basement of the North Elba Town House in Saranac Lake has been filling with water and needs to be pumped out constantly, due to high water in nearby Lake Flower saturating the ground. This hasn't led to any damage yet, however.

The North Elba Show Grounds and the town's athletic fields were not damaged, Martin said.



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