SARANAC LAKE - The village is now the proud owner of thousands of sandbags.
Filled by teams of firefighters, village workers, high school students and other volunteers during the widespread flooding that began in late April, the sandbags were placed in backyards and around buildings to try and protect public and private property from the rising Saranac River and Lake Flower.
Now that the floodwaters have receded, village crews have been collecting the sandbags and moving them back to the salt-sand storage shed, which was the site of a massive sandbag-making operation during the flooding. About 11,000 were made in all, though some were shipped to Tupper Lake to help control flooding there.
Thousands of sandbags used during the recent flooding in Saranac Lake sit on pallets inside the village’s salt-sand storage shed on Van Buren Street Tuesday evening.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)
"It's been an on-call thing," Village Manager John Sweeney said. "We're pulling them out from locations that are ours, and other people have asked us to remove their sandbags, so we pick them up, pack them on pallets and bring them to the shed."
Provided they're not needed again, just what does the village plan to do with all these sandbags?
Sweeney said about 1,500 will be given to Franklin County, which plans to store them should they be needed in the future.
The rest "are ours for the keeping," Sweeney said.
"We'll store what we think we need, wrap them up and get them under cover," he said. "The rest of them we'll open up, put the sand back in the sand pile and throw away the bags."