Ice Storm Freezes The North Country

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 12/22 2013 08:56PM

Updated 12/24 2013 06:09PM

JAY, Ny. - In Plattsburgh, NY the airport was closed all day and all flights were canceled. A state of emergency was declared in Franklin, Essex, and Clinton counties New York.

Tracie Hennessey and her family live on the bank of the Ausable River in the town of Jay.

The area behind her home is known for flooding. 

“That area where the water is right there. That’s not supposed to be there,” said Hennessey.

Overnight as the freezing rain continued to fall an ice jam formed in the river -right in her back yard.

“Just the ice going against each other, it sounds like a train going by,” said Hennessey.

If the ice suddenly cleared it could cause major flooding.

So as a precaution Hennessey, her husband, and her four children -- including her two month old baby, decided to evacuate.

“It’s nerve wrecking. Not knowing if it is going to flood or if it’s just going to - when it warms up - if it’s going to continue on, or if it is going to flood up into the house,” said Hennessey.

The family went to the town of Jay's warming shelter.

“They did have cots and blankets for us. They gave us a nice breakfast, and we were able to relax,” said Hennessey.

And Hennessey says most of all they were safe. But outside was a different story.

All over the North Country -towns battled slick roads, power outages, and potential flooding.

“We were prepared as best as we could be,” said Randy Douglas, the town of Jay Supervisor.

Douglas says crews worked overtime to clean up whatever Mother Nature threw down.

“We've been through nine states of emergencies before this one was declared. And we are well prepared. We know how to do it now. Unfortunately, we’ve learned from our own mistakes. And we've gotten very, very good at it,” said Douglas.

Road crews were out overnight treating roads and continued nonstop throughout the day.

And power crews from Canada were on standby clearing their gear of ice in between working to restore power. And while the North Country is not out of the woods yet Hennessey says it’s nice to know that in her time of need the town will step up to help.

“It’s very comforting that they know that we are here,” said Hennessey.

While crews were hard at work outside clearing roads and restoring power the command center in Clinton County was buzzing with activity.
The Clinton County Office of Emergency Services crews worked together to create a plan of attack.
From early in the day to late at night local and state leaders from all across the North Country sat in on conference calls and collected up to date data, to make sure their plan was affective.
Red Cross volunteers provided assistance to a family in Saranac, in Clinton County who had to evacuate when an ice jam ripped the power box from the side of their home.
Officials say that Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties will most likely be in effect until at least Monday morning.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.