Irene took $1.5M bite out of Saratoga County infrastructure
SARATOGA COUNTY The county sustained at least $1.5 million in public infrastructure damage as a result of Tropical Storm Irene, including culvert and road washouts and damage to Waterford’s sewage treatment plant, officials said Tuesday.
Damage from the Aug. 28 storm, while significantly less than in the Schoharie and Mohawk valleys, was enough to get the county added over the weekend to the list of counties approved for federal disaster aid. The disaster declaration now covers reimbursement for public infrastructure damages in 28 counties, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
Saratoga County residents with flood-damaged homes already qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance.
County Emergency Services Director Paul Lent said Waterford saw flood-related damage to its sewage treatment plant, to the visitors’ center at Waterford harbor, and to roads near the Mohawk River.
In Providence, a road near Lake Nancy had a bridge and culvert washed out, and the estimated repair cost is as much as $300,000, he said.
Parts of three county roads had to be closed because of mudslides or water undermining the road. Mudslide damage on County Route 8 near the Conklingville Dam in Hadley and water damage on West Mountain Road in Day have been repaired, but a section of County Route 75 in Stillwater won’t reopen for at least two more weeks. The culvert carrying Route 75 over the Schuyler Creek was undermined by the storm’s surge, causing the road to sink. “This will be a complete replacement project,” said County Public Works Commissioner Joseph C. Ritchey.
County public works laborers, coming in on a Sunday, worked from 7 a.m. to midnight during the storm, clearing limbs, branches and debris from 43 roads, Ritchey said. Municipal public works crews shared equipment as needed during the storm, said Halfmoon Supervisor Mindy Wormuth, chairwoman of the county Public Safety Committee.
County Fire Coordinator Ed Tremblay said that on the Tuesday after the storm tore through the area, 16 volunteer fire companies came together to pump out 168 flooded homes in Waterford. Local volunteer firefighters have since gone to help in Schoharie County and other harder-hit communities, he said.
Lent acknowledged the damage in Saratoga County is much less significant than the losses seen in other communities.