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Madrid battles flooding in midst of spring temperatures

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MADRID — Volunteer Fire Chief Derek D. Kingston and his crew have been busy this week, but they haven’t been fighting fires.

With temperatures rising in the region, flooded roads and basements have become an issue in some communities.

Mr. Kingston said the community is fortunate thus far.

“It’s not really too bad now. The Highway Department has been keeping the water flowing, and it looks pretty good as time progresses,” he said. “The main thing is waiting for the ice to break through the river there and seeing if it will jam up at all.”

The National Weather Service put a flood warning in effect for Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties until 7 p.m. today.

Roads in Canton and Norfolk, among other municipalities, were closed earlier in the week but are gradually reopening.

Particular areas in Madrid that were still filled with water Thursday morning included Ruddy Road and River Street.

“We’re monitoring it on and off throughout the day, seeing what the ice is going to do. A lot of snow throughout the winter and the rising temperatures create the thaw and the flooding,” Mr. Kingston said. “(Wednesday) night around the dam we did some sandbagging and stuff, but we have been pretty lucky in Madrid. West Potsdam was really busy with pumping, and Norwood had some as well.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Jessica Neiles said there was a large ice jam on the Salmon River in Fort Covington as of Tuesday night. Ms. Neiles said temperatures in the county are expected to near 70 degrees by Monday. She said a chance of rain is expected through Tuesday.

Madrid Town Supervisor Anthony A. Cooper said the flooding has been persistent.

“The Grasse River is still up, and we’ve had a particularly high snow total this winter,” Mr. Cooper said. “It has flooded the community park and it hasn’t receded yet. I believe with the next couple days with the high temperatures we might see it go up a little bit.”

Ms. Neiles said that ice jams could be an issue for the remainder of the week.

“A lot of the ice has already cleared out of rivers in the area. So where there still is ice left there is the threat for an ice jam,” she said.

She also said there is a slight chance of snow next week, but no accumulation expected.

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