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Flood waters recede, total damage unknown

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While some flooded rivers have receded across St. Lawrence County, it could be days before some roads reopen, according to county officials.

On Thursday the state Department of Transportation reopened Route 58 at Route 184 near Pope Mills after it was flooded. A section of County Route 53 just south of Brasher Falls has also been reopened.

However, sections of County Route 3 in Rossie and County Route 7 in Macomb are still closed. Flooding has also closed a portion of County Route 15 between Dry Bridge and River roads outside the village of Heuvelton. The Main Street Bridge on Route 11C in downtown Brasher Falls remains closed to traffic.

“The flooding has been extreme compared with previous years,” said Brian M. Hurlbut, field coordinator for the St. Lawrence County Highway Department. “All of the ice has melted. Now we’re just dealing with high volumes of water.”

The bridge on the Route 420 extension in Winthrop has reopened to traffic after it was closed this week because of flooding.

“Water has receded in Grasse River and has dropped four feet in the St. Regis,” Mr. Hurlbut said. “It’s less melt at the moment.”

Friday’s rainfall could raise the levels slightly, but not significantly, he said.

“We will keep an eye on things,” Mr. Hurlbut said. “We can’t do anything until the water levels recede. It is difficult to tell the total damage yet.”

Meanwhile county Emergency Services personnel are keeping tabs on areas where high water is threatening property, at a dam along the Oswegatchie River at South Edwards, and farther downstream along the Oswegatchie around Heuvelton and nearby Black Lake, where water has risen into several homes.

Residents of 40 Cambray Court apartments, Gouverneur, were allowed to return home Friday afternoon as the swollen Oswegatchie receded and crews kept pumping out excess water from basements.

Community Executive of the American Red Cross of Northern New York Jane Gendron said staff and volunteers have been extremely busy this week taking care of people in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties whose homes have been affected by flooding.

“Areas of Jefferson and Lewis counties have been affected the worst by flooding,” she said. “There have been families in St. Lawrence County that [the Red Cross] have been able to take care of on an individual basis.”

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