Hayford Road in Ticonderoga was one of many highways closed by flooding and erosion during Hurricane Irene. The storm also knocked out power to thousands.
By the time Hurricane Irene reached the Ticonderoga area on Sunday, it had been officially downgraded to a tropic storm.
Try telling that to residents who dealt with flooding and power outages.
“It was literally within 6 inches of my house,” Ti resident Dawn Kelly said of flood waters on the Vineyard. “My daughter (McKenna) walked across the yard and the water was up to her chest. I couldn’t believe it.”
To protect her home Kelly raced to a local store to buy sand bags. Finding none, she purchased bags of mulch and used them as a barrier to keep the water a bay.
“I thought I would have to leave my house,” Kelly said Sunday evening, “but it’s starting to recede.”
The remnants of the hurricane dumped heavy rain and brought strong winds that caused flooding, downed trees and left thousands with out electricity.
Town and county highway workers, firefighters, police and others responded to the storm, which began with light rain at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. The strongest portion of the storm hit at about noon and lasted until about 4 p.m. Rain continued into Monday morning.
Flooded basements were the norm and travel was brought to a virtual halt.
In Ticonderoga Route 9N, Hayford Road, New Hague Road, Baldwin Road, Charboneau Road, Killicut Mountain Road, Putts Pond Road and Old Chilson Road were all closed.
“We declared a local state of emergency Sunday for the severe road washouts and floodings,” Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney said. “It’s bad out there; nine roads were completely closed and two are down to one lane. Some are county roads that the county will repair.
“This (Monday) morning we had to declare a water conservation emergency because of line breaks at Gooseneck water supply,” she added. “We’ll use Lake George water for the time being, but residents need to use water sparingly until the problems are solved. The Department of Health and AES Engineers are on their way now to assist.
“We have at least a month of repairs ahead,” Malaney said. “We are very grateful to the town highway, sewer and water employees who worked day and night during this storm and to National Grid for getting power to us so quickly.”
In Schroon Charley Hill Road, Nesa Road, Horseshoe Pond Road, Potash Road, Trout Brook Road, Hoffman Road and Miller Road were closed. Other roads were damaged.
“We have flooding on Miller, French, River, Aldermeadow, Letsonville and Pyramid roads,” Schroon Supervisor Cathy Moses said. following the storm. “As for trees down.... all roads, approximately 28 miles, are open with at least one lane with the exception of Potash which is closed because the trees are on power lines.
“We have a great team here,” Moses said. “All of our departments have pulled together per usual and clean up is taking place as quickly as possible.”
In Moriah Edgemont Road, Ensign Pond Road, Tracy Road, Chipmunk Street, Elk Inn, Tracy Road, Raymond Wright Way, Riddle Road, Joyce Road were all closed.
Moriah also had water mains rupture in the Mineville-Witherbee area.
“We have many without power,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said Monday. “Residents were isolated due to wash outs on the Riddle Road, Bartlett Pond Road, Cookshaft Road, Mountain Spring Road, Chipmunk Street. We are now working to make these roads passable.
“Also had to evacuate Port Henry campsite the night of the storm,” he added. “Shelter was set up in Moriah Fire Department. Want to thank all of the town, county, village and state employees and also the fire departments and ambulance squad who worked hand-in-hand to get us through this. This is the worst disaster that I have ever experienced in my 23 years as supervisor.”
In Crown Point Creek Road and Corduroy Road were closed. Buck Mountain Road and Hogan Hill Road were damaged. In fact, Crown Point Supervisor Bethany Kosmider was stranded in her home by rising waters.
“It’s a real mess,” Kosmider said. “We have a lot of work to do.”
Roads were also closed in Hague and Putnam.
Randy Douglas, chairman of the Essex County board of supervisors, declared a county-wide state of emergency at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The declaration will remain in effect until Friday or until Douglas cancels it.
Fort Ticonderoga closed Sunday. The following day, Monday, the Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union was closed to deal with the storm’s aftermath.
The storm left thousands without power and left National Grid scrambling to restore electricity.
“A total of approximately 3,000 restoration and support personnel are ready to respond to what Irene leaves in her wake in upstate New York,” said Ken Daly, president, National Grid New York, during the storm. “Crews will be deployed as needed throughout upstate New York to address outages. They will be supported by hundreds of other employees who will be providing services such as damage assessment, engineering, logistics and materials, communications, lodging and meals and other key functions.
“President Obama has deemed Irene is an historic storm and states of emergency have been declared across the entire area we serve,” he said. “We have prepared accordingly; our crews and support staff are ready to get to work restoring service to and assisting our customers as soon as the storm passes.”