TUPPER LAKE - As flood waters start to recede, village and town officials are starting to clean up from the disaster.
Town and village officials announced they plan to begin today picking up flood debris from residents.
Town and village Emergency Manager Carl Steffen said this morning that emergency crews have distributed a few Red Cross cleanup kits, which consist of things like a pail, cleaning products, a mop and a broom. If anyone else wants one, there are a limited number, so people can call the emergency command post at 359-3341.
Water rushes through Bog River Falls Saturday evening in Tupper Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
Officials ask residents to keep flood debris separate from household waste and put the debris on roadsides in separate piles: food waste; scrap metal and white goods like washers, dryers and hot water heaters; demolition waste like wood, floor tiles and carpet; hazardous household waste like pesticides, batteries, paint, cleaning agents and other chemicals; and green waste like trees and shrubs.
Ordinary trash, recycling and yard waste should be handled as normal.
Town residents should call town Clerk Laurie Fuller at 359-9261 to schedule pickup between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and village residents should call the village offices at 359-3341 to schedule pickup between 1 and 4 p.m.
---Officials warn residents impacted by flooding to use caution when using gasoline-powered portable generators and water pumps. They say people should always use this equipment outdoors or at least keep it well ventilated. Ensure equipment exhaust is vented away from structures and unventilated areas to reduce risk of elevated carbon monoxide levels. Emergency crews in Saranac Lake have had several calls to mitigate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide within buildings due to improper use of this portable equipment.
Steffen said this morning that he's hoping to get Demars Boulevard completely open to traffic today.
"One lane was open (Sunday)," Steffen said. "I'm hoping it's gone down a little more and we can get (the state Department of Transportation) in there to clean it up and open it back up."
Raquette River Drive was opened up over the weekend after being closed for eight days, and barricades on Water Street were moved back.
Steffen said there's not much change in the River Road area.
Two families were able to return to houses they were evacuated from in a Main Street trailer park after their electricity was turned back on, Steffen said.
Emergency officials on Friday were focusing on monitoring water levels and flooded areas along the Raquette River and in the Raquette Pond area and making sure people in the affected areas were safe and informed.
Officials said they had some water operations planned for Friday, including inspections of the Raquette Pond and Lake Simond areas by boat for flooding impact to seasonal structure and electric infrastructure, as well as for any large or dangerous floating debris. But gusty winds made the plans too dangerous, so they had to be postponed.
Emergency workers used sandbags to block waves against underground electric utility structures along the state Route 30 Moody Causeway area, and state Department of Transportation workers also put down materials later Friday to protect the highway from waves created by high winds.
Officials are working on assessing property belonging to seasonal residents so they can be notified of potential damage or hazards.
Officials are still asking people to refrain from recreational activities along the Raquette River while water levels remain high, saying "conditions are extremely dangerous."