North Country villages, High Peaks hit hard

The North Country saw extensive damage from Hurricane Irene.

The North Country saw extensive damage from Hurricane Irene.

There are power outages and road closures in and around populated areas, but the wild backcountry saw damage too, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Less than a week before the Labor Day weekend, nineteen DEC campgrounds in the eastern Adirondacks remain closed until further notice. Many day use areas were open, though, and DEC campgrounds in the western Adirondacks are open as usual.

The foot bridge at Marcy Dam, familiar to High Peaks hikers heading into the wilderness from Adirondack Loj, was washed away on Sunday. DEC officials said damage in the backcountry was extensive.

Some businesses in Lake George were flooded by drenching rains cascading off the side of Prospect Mountain.

More than 20 roads had at least partial closures in Warren County alone, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.

“We have road closures, power outages, telephones out. We don’t have anything consistently,” said Johnburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed Jr., whose town includes the hamlet of North Creek.

The Saratoga and North Creek Railway was running, he said, after being closed on Sunday due to the storm.

About 10,000 customers of either National Grid or New York State Electric & Gas were without power in Essex County, 3,600 customers were out in Hamilton County, and 17,600 were without power in Warren County.

The foot bridge at Marcy Dam is a link used by many hikers heading into the High Peaks. “It got pushed right over the dam,” said DEC Region 5 spokesman David Winchell.

Forest rangers are in the backcountry today, Winchell said, assessing damage and looking for any stranded campers or hikers who may have ignored Friday’s advisory to stay out of the Adirondack wilderness this weekend because of the wind and rain that were expected to lash the mountain region.

While details of the damage are still being discovered, “we know there was extensive trail erosion and loss of [foot] bridges” throughout the popular trail system, Winchell said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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