Governor to tour storm damage in Moriah

MORIAH-Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be in Moriah today for a first-hand look at the damage caused by flooding this week.

Cuomo is scheduled to arrive via helicopter at 11 a.m. at Moriah Central School. He will tour the town along with local officials and meet with the media at noon at the school.

Moriah Central School is closed again today because of the flooding April 27, which washed away roads and destroyed two bridges - including one 100 yards from the school entrance.

"We're hoping to be back in school Monday," Bill Larrow, Moriah school superintendent said. "As soon as emergency officials tell us the roads are safe and passable, we'll open school."

Larrow said school officials are mapping alternate bus routes - taking into account road closures and detours - to pick up students on Monday. In some cases, he said, the district will be forced to use vans because buses won't be able to cross certain roads.

"We're working on it," he said. "There's a lot we still need to figure out."

The school district used its final emergency weather day on Wednesday, so if it opens Monday the district will only have 178 class days this academic year - two short of the state-mandated 180.

Larrow has asked the state education department for a variance to the mandate. If that's denied, he said, Moriah students will have to go to school two days beyond the scheduled end of the school year.

Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said his town has two collapsed bridges and at least a dozen roads closed due to washouts and flooding.

The supervisor said water from the overflowing Mill Brook is scouring under roads and bridge footers and is likely what caused the Broad Street and Titus Road spans to fall in.

Witherbee Road between Moriah Center and Witherbee also collapsed after it was undermined Wednesday morning.

The sewer main that was broken when Broad Street Bridge collapsed has been repaired temporarily, he said.

He said the town has more than $1.5 million in damage.

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