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Tri-Lakes residents dealing with heavy snow, winds, power outages

February 25, 2017
By ANDY FLYNN and ANTONIO OLIVERO - Editor and Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

Tri-Lakes residents were enjoying summer-like temperatures early Saturday, but by late afternoon they were dealing with thunderstorms, heavy snow, wind and power outages amid a flood warning in the AuSable River watershed.

By the evening, Essex County Emergency Services had issued two road advisories. Starting at 4 p.m., the River Road in the town of North Elba was closed due to flooding. And Route 9, between state Route 73 and Elizabethtown, will be closed from 6 a.m. to noon Monday, Feb. 27 for tree removal, per the state Department of Transportation.

As of 9 p.m. Saturday, electricity was still out through the totality of Lake Placid, though lobbies of a few hotels were lit by generators.

Article Photos

Snow covers McClelland Street in Saranac Lake around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

The outage, which also affected Ray Brook and parts of neighboring communities, was caused by a broken power line between Lake Placid and Ray Brook, Lake Placid police and village trustee Jason Leon said Saturday night.

Leon said village crews were working hard Saturday night to remedy the problem and return power to the village, but he described the problem as "not an easy fix" and said he wouldn't be surprised if power didn't return to the village until Sunday.

Lake Placid Village Police were updating residents through social media, posting at 7:30 p.m. that "emergency crews are out dealing with downed trees, power lines and cars that have slid off the road due to the weather." Lake Placid police dispatch said that a crew from National Grid was working to remedy the problem on the railroad tracks between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

Lake Placid police reported around 9:20 p.m. that power will not be restored until Sunday morning in Lake Placid, according to its Facebook page. Any resident in need of heat or oxygen can call the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department at 518-523-3211, as arrangements have been made to shelter people at the U.S. Olympic Training Center gym on Old Military Road.

State police in Ray Brook said the two main roads leading to Lake Placid were closed as of 9:40 p.m. Saturday: Route 73 between Keene and Lake Placid and Route 86 between Old Military Road and McKenzie Pond Road.

State police said the closure between Keene and Lake Placid was due to whiteout conditions resulting in cars unable to get through the Cascade Pass corridor. State police added that the state Department of Transportation was working Saturday night to clear Route 73, as cars remained unable to pass through the corridor.

State police said the closure on Route 86 was due to many downed trees.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch through 7 p.m. Sunday for northern New York, including the Tri-Lakes villages of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake. It also issued a flood warning until Sunday afternoon for the East Branch of the AuSable River at AuSable Forks. Rising water is also being monitored at Marcy Field in the town of Keene and the Stickney Bridge in the town of Jay.

Route 3 between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake was reported to be "wet but no snow," according to a motorist who drove the road around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

The inclement weather was a sudden turn in the conditions as temperatures creeped close to 60 degrees in Lake Placid earlier Saturday before the storm hit in the late afternoon. And as day turned to dusk, rain turned to heavy flurries that featured intermittent lightning strikes and thunder snow.

Meanwhile, the Mount Van Hoevenberg Cross-Country Ski Center reported Saturday evening that the facility will be closed Sunday.



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