The town of North Elba incurred significant and costly damage as a result of Tropical Storm Irene.
That’s according to Roby Politi, the town’s supervisor.
Politi says one of the bridges on Adirondack Loj Road was destroyed by raging waters triggered by heavy rainfall Sunday.
“A second bridge at the Adirondack Loj Road is completely out,” he said Tuesday. “We presently have about 15 vehicles stranded in the Adirondack Loj parking lot. The Adirondack Loj Road is closed [except for] local traffic, and the High Peaks Wilderness Area is also closed to hikers.”
According to Politi, the town is working with a private contractor through Essex County to establish one lane of traffic through the Loj road and across the debris on the bridge.
The hope, he says, is to get those vehicles that are currently sealed off from state Route 73 out.
But Politi adds the bridge will still be closed to the general public.
“We will likely have to replace that bridge in the near future,” he said.
The primary damage in North Elba was along the Loj road – but Politi anticipates significant repairs along River Road, which is still closed to everything but local traffic.
Bridges and roads are in dire shape between state Route 73 at the ski jumps and the intersection with state Route 86 on the way to Wilmington, Politi says.
“A lot of the shoulders are gone, we’ve got ditches that are four to six feet deep – the road is just terrible shape,” he said. “The bridge at the Intervale Ski Jump is cluttered with debris, up to a height higher than the bridge itself. And also the bridge just below the red barn on River Road also has the same kind of debris.”
Politi says the town has established a state of emergency in both the River Road and Adirondack Loj Road areas.
He’s asking motorists and pedestrians to avoid those roads if they can – and he urges caution for those who can’t.
Politi also wants home and business owners to contact the town offices regarding damage on their property so local officials can keep a running tally.
He also thanked municipal workers and volunteers for their tireless work during this week’s storm.
“Hats off to the Lake Placid Village Electric Company and the Lake Placid Fire Department – unbelievable job,” Politi said. “They worked all night. We’re just so lucky in this community that we have an electric company that is so conscientious. The guys are there at a moment’s notice and they did a wonderful job.”
Upstream from the ski jump bridge, a small footbridge above Marcy Dam was destroyed by flash flooding.
Politi also expects other road projects to be delayed as crews focus in on damage from Irene.