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Some evacuees can’t go home

May 7, 2011
By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer (cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

SARANAC LAKE - Village Code Enforcement Officer Tom Worthington says some people have been able to return to homes, apartments and businesses that were evacuated due to the rising flood waters last week.

But for others, the wait continues.

"I'm getting tired of it," said Jim Minnie, who hasn't been able to spend the night in his apartment at 28 Broadway (above Upscale Resale) for eight days. "The novelty of the flood has worn off."

Article Photos

A pump on Saranac Lake’s River Walk helps drain the area around a mixed retail-apartment building at 28 Broadway Friday.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

Minnie said he's been staying at a motel. He hasn't gotten the bill yet but is hopeful the owner might cut him a deal, given the circumstances. Minnie has also been dealing with flooding at his business, Onsite Computer Service, which is located in the Warehouse shopping plaza on Woodruff Street, alongside the swollen Saranac River.

Jessie Call, her husband Brandon and their 3-year-old daughter London were forced out of their apartment at 68 Dorsey St. eight days ago. They've been staying in various hotels since then. Jessie spoke to the Enterprise Friday from the Best Western Mountain Lake Inn in Saranac Lake.

"I paid for a hotel room for four nights, then we got two nights for free from the Salvation Army, and since then me and my mom paid for a couple nights in a hotel room," she said.

Call said she wasn't too concerned at first, but now she's grown tired of living out of hotels.

"We've been pretty stressed out for the last few days," she said. "We didn't think it was going to be this long to get back into our apartment. Our landlord told us a few days ago that the hot water tank and the boiler are completely submerged in the basement, and she has no idea when we'll be able to get back in."

If that wasn't enough, Call said their apartment was burglarized earlier this week. Whoever did it made off with $175 in cash and prescription drugs. Police are still investigating.

Call said they've now decided to just find a new apartment.

"Our landlord said that would probably be the best option right now since she has no idea when we're going to be able to get back into the apartment," she said.

Worthington said Friday that 28 Broadway and 68 Dorsey St. are two of several buildings in the village that remain unoccupied and without power due to flooding problems. The others are 36 Broadway and 32 Dorsey St.

"Right now we're just waiting for the water to go down," he said. "We've set in place what we need to do before we can turn the power on in those buildings. The next thing will be getting heat and hot water.

"At 28 Broadway, they have a concrete containment within the basement area. They're working on pumping that down so they can get heat and hot water. They're supposed to have an electrician coming over to make sure everything is above water line, safe or disconnected.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen with 68 Dorsey right now. I've spoken to the property owner a couple times, and they're doing what they can do. But there's not much they can do until the water goes down below the break wall."

Power has been restored to another home on Dorsey Street that had to be evacuated and the residents there have moved back in, Worthington said. Power is also back on for the three stores - Cinderella's, Lady Tremaine and Adirondack Trading Co. - in the building on Broadway across from Community Bank. But other stores across the street still didn't have power back on by mid-afternoon Friday.

"We're trying to get power on in at least the businesses," Worthington said. "They don't necessarily need heat and hot water. If we can get those businesses going that cuts down on their lost revenues and that sort of thing."

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Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.

 
 

 

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