Ausable River reaches highest level in past year
By Zachary Matson
A slow moving weather front this weekend stalled over the Adirondack Park and dumped significant rainfall across parts of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Warren and Hamilton counties.
Plattsburgh set a record for single-day rainfall in October with 3.94 inches, topping the previous record of 2.25 inches in 1977, National Weather Service forecaster Rebecca Duell said. With 2.39 inches of rain on Oct. 7, Saranac Lake set a rainfall record for that day.
Rainfall between Friday night and Sunday morning topped five inches at multiple sites in Clinton and Essex counties, including Bloomingdale, Port Henry and Harkness. Numerous sites across the region recorded at least 4 inches of rain.
“It was very impressive,” Duell said of the precipitation figures.
While Tropical Storm Philippe did not contribute directly to precipitation in the Adirondacks this weekend, Duell said, it did slow the front’s eastward movement across northern New York and effectively doubled the amount of moisture typically in the atmosphere this time of year, generating an extended period of moderate rainfall.
Duell said rainfall rates this weekend of around one-quarter to one-half inches per hour were typical – far shy of the 1-2 inches of rain per hour seen in July storms that battered the Adirondacks and Vermont. But the storm hovered over New York longer than expected, increasing the deluge.
Recent dry weather also lowered water levels and buffered against more extensive flooding this weekend, while the July rain storms were preceded by wet weather that saturated the ground and elevated water levels.
The Ausable River nearly reached flood stage at Ausable Forks on Sunday morning, running higher than at any other point in the past year, including during spring runoff and the July storms, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Duell said the weather service forecast center in Burlington, Vt., received reports of road closures and limited flooding on Hoffman Road in Schroon Lake and along portions of Route 22 in Essex County. The Town of Peru warned residents to conserve water because its water filtration plant was at minimum production due to a surge of storm runoff.