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Adirondack Explorer

Monday, September 12, 2011

Should the Duck Hole dam be rebuilt?

By coincidence, the current issue of the Adirondack Explorer contains a debate on whether the Duck Hole dam should be repaired. Some might argue that since the dam has been breached by the floods of Hurricane Irene, the question has been settled, but that’s not the case. Tom Wemett, who wrote in favor of fixing the dam, is now mounting a campaign to have it rebuilt. “Pretty much anybody who paddles or hikes to Duck Hole experiences the same thing: it’s just a magical place,” Wemett told me after Irene. Bill Ingersoll, the author of the Discover the Adirondacks guidebooks, >>More

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Irene destroyed or damaged 228 homes

Hurricane Irene destroyed thirty-one homes in Essex and Clinton counties and damaged 197 others, according to the North Country chapter of American Red Cross. “We’ve never seen this many homes damaged by the rain, the flooding, and the wind,” Jeanie Roberts, the chapter’s executive director, told the Explorer today. Indeed, Roberts said Irene was more devastating than any natural disaster she has witnessed in her twenty-five years on the job—including the ice storm of 1998. Although the ice storm left homes without power for weeks, she said, “at the end of it everyone had somewhere to go.” Nearly all the >>More

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good news for Keene Valley

Governor Cuomo came to the Adirondacks on Labor Day and delivered good news for the beleaguered community of Keene Valley: Route 73 will be reopened by September 15. Since Route 73 is the only way in and out of Keene Valley, its closure after Hurricane Irene meant that local stores saw little traffic in what is ordinarily one of the most lucrative weeks of the year. As I reported last week, business owners wanted the state to reopen the highway before Columbus Day weekend in October. Having seen the extent of damage to the road, I was skeptical that this >>More

Friday, September 2, 2011

Keene Valley wants its lifeline back

No community identifies with the High Peaks as much as Keene Valley. State Route 73, the only way in or out, snakes through the same mountains that attract tens of thousands of hikers to the hamlet every year. Now the High Peaks are closed and Route 73 is barricaded to the north and south—a double-whammy to a local economy that relies on tourist traffic. The state Department of Environmental Conservation may start opening some trails in the High Peaks as early as next week, but it’s uncertain when the highway will reopen. During Tropical Storm Irene, raging brooks washed out >>More

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A thousand words

  By now, many of you have seen the pictures of the Keene fire station: it lost two bays when Gulf Brook overflowed and undercut the structure. Half of its roof fell off and lies partly in the water. Yesterday while driving through the hamlet I noticed the firefighters’ uniforms drying on the railings outside the town hall. Though not as dramatic as the photos of the storm damage, it tells the story.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Aerial photos of Duck Hole draining

In the current issue of the Adirondack Explorer, we ran a debate on whether the state should fix the dam at Duck Hole in the High Peaks Wilderness. Now that the dam has been breached, the debate is whether the state should rebuild it. This afternoon, we obtained several aerial photos taken after the rains of Hurricane Irene broke the dam. They were shot Monday by Kris Alberga, a forester with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The top photo shows Duck Hole as one looks southeast toward Preston Ponds. Much of the water has drained, exposing numerous mudflats. The >>More

Friday, August 26, 2011

Raising the Champlain bridge

Sightseers gathered in Crown Point today to watch the installation of the arch for the new bridge connecting New York State and Vermont. The arch was still being slowly hoisted this afternoon. Crown Point photographer Seth Lang took these photos of the massive structure–which is about eight stories high–being moved into place by barges. The original bridge was closed in 2009 because of structural damage, causing economic hardship to towns on the both side of Lake Champlain. The new one is scheduled to open this fall, according to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Updates on the bridge construction, including photos, are >>More