Black River flooding still has some Lewis County roads closed

While the Black River south of Dadville is receding from its Saturday crest of about 15.5 feet, it was still above its 12-foot flood level Monday evening at 12.5 feet. At left, the river’s flooding can be seen from the still-closed East Martinsburg Road as it approaches East Road seen in the background. Julie Abbass/Watertown Daily Times

LOWVILLE — In the midst of storm fallout, a number of Lewis County roads along the swollen Black River banks are still flooded and closed, while at least one family is thankful for the kindness of their neighbors, even after tragedy.

More than half of the barn filled with thousands of bales of hay and the small herd of cattle belonging to John and Heather Sullivan on Route 12 just north of Copenhagen collapsed Friday morning after being hammered by relentless winds that began the night before.

Although Mr. Sullivan said he didn’t want to speak publicly of the details of his family’s loss, he did want to make clear he and his wife are thankful for two things.

Even though it was chore time when the barn went down, he and his two sons weren’t inside when it happened and are safe; and the dozens of people who showed up Saturday to help pull the barn the rest of the way down and prepare for the burn that would be the final cleanup, made him and his family feel supported and valued as part of the community.

“That’s how people should always be able to feel,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Trees downed by the wind now rest beside the roads they blocked on Friday morning and over the weekend, from state Route 812 between Harrisville and Lowville to seasonal roads and ATV trails.

According to the National Weather Service, the Black River south of Dadville peaked on Saturday at about 15.5 feet, described as a “major” flooding level. As of 6 p.m. Monday evening, it was the only river in the county still above its flood stage of 12 feet at 12.5 feet.

The Moose River, which Saturday reached a maximum of about 12.8 feet, which is considered a minor flooding event for that river, is now down to about 9 feet, the Service said.

There were eight road closures due to high water and flooding and two others because of downed trees and other issues reported by the county’s Emergency Management Department by late Friday afternoon, but by Monday, only five were still closed.

Roads still officially closed in Lewis County include:

- East Martinsburg Road in the town of Martinsburg two miles off state Route 12 heading toward the Number Four Road

- Merz Road in the town of Denmark

- Murphy Road and Davis Bridge Road intersection area in the town of Lyonsdale

- Kosterville Road in the town of Lyonsdale

- Ziegler Road near Neff Road in the town of Leyden

Despite a downed transformer and many damaged lines, power was restored throughout the county by Saturday morning, according to the online National Grid Outage Map.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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