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State officials tour TL, witness flood damage

Flooding in parts of the North Country is expected to get worse before it gets better.

And even though water levels continue to fluctuate, state and local officials are trying to get a handle on how much damage has occurred so far.

On Thursday, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens toured flood ravaged neighborhoods in Tupper Lake.

With village police cruisers leading the way, Commissioner Martens got a firsthand look at just how much damage has occurred in Tupper Lake over the last week.

Homes on Cedar Street and Water Street are still surrounded by up to a foot of water in some places. On Demars Boulevard, debris is scattered across yards and streets where floodwaters have receded.

The municipal park, home of the Tupper Lake Woodsmen Days and a popular gathering spot during the summer, is completely underwater.

Martens says the state will do everything in its power to help clean up, especially with the busy tourist season drawing near.

"We're coming into a very important season here in the North Country - the tourists are going to be back soon and getting back to normal as quickly as possibly is our first order of business," he said.

This trip was ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whom Martens reported back to late last night.

"What we really want to do is first see it, and then hear from the people who have their feet on the ground in the community to figure out what we can do on a state level to help," he said.

So far, damage is estimated at over $10 million in Franklin County. Officials like Rick Provost of Franklin County's Department of Emergency Services say those figures will continue to increase in the coming weeks.

"I see some paperwork that says we're at $10.2 million, and I expect that to go up because we're just now getting out and seeing some stuff that was previously covered by water," he said.

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