Monday, Aug. 29, about 24 hours after the storm subsided, a contractor moves boulders in place next to English Brook to provide some protection for English Brook Cottages & Storage units (background) if the stream is again inundated with floodwaters. The prior day, English Brook jumped its banks and ripped through the property along Rte. 9. At one point in its course, the brook was 15 feet above normal level.
While utility workers toiled feverishly Monday, Aug. 29 to repair dozens of downed power lines and burned-out transformers in the region damaged by Tropical Storm Irene, local municipal employees worked long hours to assess damage to infrastructure, conduct repairs and clean up roadways.
A day after the storm descended on the area early Sunday morning, National Grid representatives described how extensive the damage was.
National Grid spokesman Patrick Stella said that in the company’s territory in eastern/central New York, 140,000 households and businesses lost power Sunday due to the storm, and of these, 120,000 remained without power at 9:30 a.m. Monday. An estimated 55,000 people were left without power in Warren, Washington, Essex and Saratoga counties.
At that time, he said it would take days to restore power to all areas. Power in Lake George village was restored late Monday afternoon.
Stella said about 700 line crews, or nearly 3,000 utility repair workers, were on duty — most all through the night — assessing damage or attempting to restore power. The crews were working on 16 to 18 hour shifts.
As of 9:30 a.m. Monday, still lacking power were 17,400 homes and businesses in Warren County, 21,000 in Saratoga County, 4,900 in Essex County, and 3,3000 in Washington County, Stella said.
“One of the big challenges is flooding, as there are still a lot of road closures, and travel to the affected sites will be challenging,” he said.
Utility crews were brought in from as far away as Iowa, Ohio and Tennessee to work on restoring power, he said.
The Lake George Village Hall was dark Monday morning, but the town hall was fully operational due to its generator backup system.
Lake George Town Supervisor Frank McCoy said early Monday that highway workers of both the town and village were busy working to clean up the debris on roadways, which included downed limbs, gravel and silt. Tons of sand and gravel was deposited on several roads including Rte. 9 north of the village and Dieskau St. downtown, when the roadways were turned into rushing rivers as floodwaters veered out of stream beds.
Rte. 9 north of the village, and Rte. 9 south of Northway Exit 21 remained closed to traffic mid-morning Monday. The northern stretch is due to the deposited debris, and the southern sector is due to the pavement being washed out near Magic Forest. Also, Rte. 9N north of the village, known locally as Bolton Road, was also closed due to a washout and the destabilized condition of Rte. 9N bridge over English Brook. That stream was 15 feet over its normal level and turned into a river in Sunday’s flooding, ripping through homes, motels, various other properties and roadways.
Lake George Mayor Robert Blais, reached at 9:40 a.m. in the darkened village hall, warned there was now limited access to Lake George Village.
‘The only way in or out of the village is from Luzerne Road and the Northway,” he said.
Blais added that English Brook floodwaters broke a water main at the north end of the village, that served about a dozen households. He said work was progressing on repairs.
Village Sewer Plant Operator Tim Shudt reported that tank trucks were routinely pumping out sewage Sunday and Monday from the municipal Sewell Street municipal pump station, which has no backup generation.
Blais said Shephard Park beach and Lake Avenue beach were closed until further notice due to the flooding.
Town Supervisor Frank McCoy praised the public employees, volunteers and utility workers who responded Sunday and Monday.
“Our sincere thanks go out to the Lake George firefighters, Emergency Squad responders and local highway workers for all they’ve accomplished during the storm and its aftermath,” McCoy said.
Monday Aug. 29, about 24 hours after the storm subsided, a contractor moves boulders in place next to English Brook to provide some protection for English Brook Cottages & Storage units (background) if the stream is again inundated with floodwaters. The prior day, English Brook jumped its banks and ripped through the property along Rte. 9. At one point in its course, the brook was 15 feet above normal level.