Hudson Street was heavily damaged during the storm Sunday evening, Aug. 28.
While much of the region weathered Tropical Storm Irene with only a few downed trees and branches, Johnsburg suffered rough handling by the storm.
Other towns fared better.
Newcomb Supervisor George Canon said the storm didn't damage roads or homes. Water did rise up on the town beach, and a few trees fell on the road to Adirondac and Tahawus. Overall, Canon said Newcomb made out well.
In Long Lake, the highway department was busy picking debris off the road during the storm, but there were no reported fallen trees or flooding, said Supervisor Clark Seaman.
“We really lucked out and are grateful,” said Seaman.
In Johnsburg, the outlook was less favorable. Johnsburg Highway Superintendent Daniel Hitchcock said the storm caused damage that will take weeks to clean up, maybe even months.
The highway department, like most homes, was without power Sunday night and early Monday. To coordinate their crews, the department had to wire a 12-volt battery to a radio.
Dozens of downed trees blocked roadways during and after the storm. Hitchcock estimated Monday morning that the crews must have cut about 100 trees that had fallen on the road. At times, crews would come upon eight or 10 trees fallen together into a massive, difficult-to-remove roadblock.
During the worst of the storm, trees fell constantly, said Hitchcock. Crews would cut their way into a blocked road, clearing all the downed trees on their way in. When they turned around to leave, they'd run into newly-fallen trunks along the road they'd just worked to clear.
By Tuesday morning, he said that the calls to his office had slowed quite a bit. “Something must be going right,” he said.
Hitchcock said he was still getting calls complaining about fallen trees resting on power lines, but said he can't touch those trees until the power company's been there first, so he has to wait on those removals.
The department was nearly caught up from repairs from the last round of flooding following spring melt. Now, said Hitchcock, they'll be weeks or even months focused on the newly-needed repairs.
The biggest long-term problem for the roads was the rush of water.
“Anyplace there was a stream, it went over,” said Hitchcock.
Culverts are a weak spot. Even if the culvert is large enough to take the water, when debris is blown about and knocked from trees, the man-made waterways are easily blocked, he said.
All it takes is a couple of branches becoming lodged across the opening, then leaves, smaller branches and other vegetation will get trapped, damming up the culvert and overflowing the road, said Hitchcock.
Crews were already out with a wood chipper reducing the size of the wood that was cleared from the roadways, and most roads are opening up, said Hitchcock.
The worst damage was at Glen Creek Road to Thurman. The road around a bridge there was torn up by rushing waters, and the road is littered with boulders deposited by the fast-moving flood.
In addition to Glen Creek, Dippikill Road, Crane Mountain Road and Cleveland Road are closed and in need of repairs. Several people are stranded on the roads. Cleveland Road is not currently a priority because it only has one resident, said Hitchcock, and he's in Texas right now.