Water levels drop in SL; officials reopen bridges

Flooding continues in Saranac Lake today, but officials are optimistic that conditions will begin improving over the weekend.

Meanwhile, two bridges that have been closed for more than a week were reopened early Friday morning.

Rick Provost is emergency services coordinator for Franklin County. He spoke to WNBZ Thursday afternoon.

"The water is up in Saranac Lake today, we've been monitoring it through the night," he said. "We really don't think there's much of a chance of it getting back to the original high point. The village of Saranac Lake is aggressively trying to lower Lake Flower; they're putting out as much water as they possibly can with affecting the downtown residents. In the next 24 hours, we hope this will stabilize."

Village Manager John Sweeney says water levels increased by about three inches at the Main Street bridge on Thursday. As of early this morning, they had dropped by three inches.

"We had yesterday about 27 inches over the spillway, as of this morning I haven't gone down to find out where we are," he said. "I would expect that the feeder systems that are coming in as well as knowing the cubic feet per second that DEC was providing to us yesterday, we were about 700 CFS ahead of them, but yet the water continued to rise. So that must have been water coming out of Kiwassa and our feeder systems. I suspect that over the weekend we should start to see some decrease in the water levels."

Sweeney met with John Hutchins from Franklin County's Department of Transportation. He says inspectors found no problems with any of the bridges in the village.

"They did see that there's been some scalding on some, but they released them last night to be opened," Sweeney said. "So last night at about 7 p.m. we directed the village Department of Public Works to open all of the bridges."

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Administration - or FEMA - were in Saranac Lake Thursday. Sweeney says they were focused on evaluating the state of public infrastructure.

He adds that Franklin County has put together a list of damaged items - the list includes some infrastructure in Essex County as well.

According to Sweeney, FEMA officials may begin looking at some private properties today.

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