PORT LEYDEN, N.Y. (WKTV) - Heavy rains and flash flooding caused massive destruction in Port Leyden Thursday night, specifically on North and Quarry Streets. The storm lasted approximately 10 minutes but caused such a mess, it will take weeks, possibly months to clean up the Lewis County town.
Hundreds of people were evacuated after the flash flood caused a river to overflow, push through a culvert and tear up North Street; rocks came crashing down from the river, cars were submerged in mud and basements flooded.
The damage could be seen around four blocks in Port Leyden. The Sheriff of Lewis County says the damage that was done underneath the street, is what he is worried most about.
"What you can't see underneath the road are that the sewer lines have been affected and the main water lines have been affected," said Sheriff Michael Carpinelli. "So that is the concern, the public health aspect of that."
Shawn Smith lives on North Street. Smith's front yard is now a pile of rocks. He says the inside of his home has just as much damage.
"I had damage in my living room, my cellar is in rough condition, it's bad," Smith said.
Smith has lived in his home for 15 years, but it has been in the family for 74. He says there has never been destruction like this last storm caused.
"It's going to be a long process, this is an awful, awful mess," Smith said.
According to Sheriff Carpinelli, about 100 people could be displaced and the damage could cost thousands to fix. The power was turned off for safety precautions and may not be turned back on for days as the clean up process is underway.
Currently, all local personnel are working on cleaning up the mess including the county and town municipalities.
No one was physically hurt during the storm.