Dozens of Adirondack roads are still closed today as flooding continues across the region.
Nearly 60 roads from Tupper Lake to Lake Champlain are closed off to all forms of traffic and many municipalities have declared states of emergency.
Essex County Manager Dan Palmer says officials are seeking help in the form of federal and state aid in order to deal with damage caused by flooding.
In Saranac Lake, the swollen Saranac River watershed continues to apply pressure on the Lake Flower dam. A coordinated effort between village, town, county, and state officials has helped avoid any major catastrophes so far.
Franklin County Emergency Services Director Rick Provost spoke to reporters Thursday evening at the Saranac Lake firehouse.
"We don't have a lot of good news on the elevation of the water," he said. "The water continues to rise. Since 6 a.m. Thursday, it went up approximately 4 or 5 inches at the Lake Flower bridge."
Village Manager John Sweeney says crews continue to manage the flow of water between the Lower Locks and the Lake Flower dam.
"Right now we are putting about 1 billion, 7 million gallons daily by our calculations," he said. "The Lower Locks are putting out approximately 140 cubic feet per second more than we are able to discharge."
According to Provost, the situation in Saranac Lake is top priority in Franklin County.
"This is the biggest challenge we have right now in Franklin County," he said. "We have a few issues in Tupper Lake, but we're holding our own there. The county highway superintendent is here and he's got three or four roads with some potential issues in the Duane, Franklin Falls area."
Saranac Lake Village Police Chief Bruce Nason says the public has been cooperative and patient throughout the ordeal. He adds that people should continue to observe barricades and caution signs in high-risk areas.
"There are many areas with barricades, traffic cones, caution tape, police tape, fire tape - we ask that people please do not cross that and go into those areas unless they get permission or authorization from emergency personnel," he said. "It's there for their safety. There are some areas that we've had to turn the power off to some apartment buildings. We're doing the best that we can and we'll continue to do that."
The village will continue to schedule releases at the dam to manage flooding as well as possible, according to village Clerk Kareen Tyler. She adds that members of the fire department will continue to perform welfare checks in areas affected by flooding.
Residents forced to evacuate due to flooding can receive assistance at the Methodist Church in Saranac Lake, where the Red Cross has set up shop.
Philip Welch of West Chazy has worked with the Red Cross since 2001. He's provided aid at the scene of five national disasters and helped locally at a number of minor disasters.
Welch is helping man the temporary shelter, located in the church's basement.
"We are a shelter right now, that's what we're doing - we're not doing anything as far as helping with flooding in homes," he said. "We'll have emergency clean-up kits coming in and comfort kits to help them out. What we'll do is offer them a safe place to stay, we'll have food for them, and cots - we're looking at being open here until Saturday morning at least."
Some roads in the village of Saranac Lake have been closed due to flooding, including Main Street over the Lake Flower dam and Dorsey Street.
Numerous roads in Jay, Keene, and Keene Valley remained closed as of late last night, although state Route 73 has been reopened.
Lake Placid's head fire driver, Brad Jacques, says volunteers were busy throughout the day Thursday, responding to numerous calls for assistance.
State Route 73 near River Road was decreased to one lane of traffic because debris and trees were hitting the bridge, Jacques says. Crews also removed a propane tank found floating in a stream near Saranac Avenue.
Two homes on River Road were evacuated, Jacques says, and the residents are now staying with friends and relatives in the area. Several roads in Lake Placid have experienced minor flooding but are still open, including: Mirror Lake Drive, Old Military Road, Carolyn Road, Adirondack Loj Road, and Whiteface Inn Lane.
In Tupper Lake, water from Raquette Pond has flooded Demars Boulevard. As of this morning, village police and state Department of Transportation crews had closed the road to all forms of traffic.
Village police Sergeant Eric Proulx says motorists are being detoured to Santa Clara Avenue, then McLaughlin Avenue, then Pleasant Avenue and back onto state Route 3.
Crews are also keeping a close eye on state Route 3 near the Crusher, where water has flowed onto the highway.
Finally, in Long Lake, DOT has closed state Route 30 in front of the Adirondack Motel, as well as the bridge.