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Northern Adirondack roads closed, homes evacuated

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.

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