LAKE GEORGE -- Flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene caused more than a quarter of a million dollars in damage to village infrastructure, and most of repair cost won't be covered by municipal insurance, village officials said Thursday.
The hurricane turned tropical storm largely spared New York City but hammered communities in upstate New York and Vermont on Sunday -- cutting off several Vermont towns from the outside world and devastating the town of Keene in Essex County.
Lake George's stormwater system couldn't handle the never-before-seen rainfall and Canada Street soon turned into a river as water rushed off of Prospect Mountain, flooding homes and businesses and damaging municipal infrastructure.
Village Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington estimated the repairs to damaged village-owned properties and infrastructure will cost about $275,000.
"As of yesterday, we're still finding stuff," Harrington told the Village Board at a Thursday morning emergency meeting.
A village water main on Big Hollow Road was crushed when a town bridge above it collapsed. Harrington said the ongoing repairs to the water main will cost about $50,000.
Other big-ticket local repairs include $25,000 in repairs to the local stormwater system on Dieskau Street, where culverts and piping were torn from the ground, businesses flooded and substantial erosion occurred. The village also owes local sewage companies $20,000 for non-stop pump-outs while the local treatment plant was out of commission because of no electricity.
Village officials have been meeting with representatives from its insurance companies for the last several days. Mayor Bob Blais said the village policy only covers property, which doesn't include culverts, sidewalks and curbs.
Of the $275,000 estimated total, insurance could cover just $67,000 of the repairs.
"We're obviously waiting to hear what FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has to say," Blais said.
President Barack Obama declared much of upstate New York a disaster area, opening up FEMA funding streams that can cover up to 87 percent of storm-related costs.
The Village Board unanimously voted to free up $275,000 of its $2 million in unexpended fund balance to fund the work.
It could take local governments more than a year before FEMA aid became available, if at all, officials said.
Blais said any state or federal aid the village receives would replenish the village's dwindled fund balance account.
"(Hurricane) Gloria was bad," Blais said of the 1985 gale that flooded the community. "But Irene, which unfortunately was my mother's name, was much worse."
The village will hold off on replacing the damaged public docks and hauling sand into Shepard Park Beach. Three of the wooden docks sustained significant damage during the gale and would cost more than $30,000 to replace. Village officials are hoping an unrelated state water revitalization grant application will fund the installation of permanent crib docks.
Nearly two-thirds of Shepard Park Beach was washed away as Irene pounded the community. Officials decided it's not worth replacing the 100 yards of sand until next year because the beach is scheduled to close on Monday.