Port Leyden residents clean up after freak storm causes road collapse


PORT LEYDEN, N.Y. (WKTV) -- North Street is now a giant crater occupied by track excavators and front-end loaders, cleaning up after heavy downpour overwhelmed a culvert causing the road to collapse Thursday.

"I grew up here, this is crazy," said Matthew Weber, whose family lives on North Street.

The initial shock is subsiding, but now residents are wrangling a beast they've never dealt with before.

"The basement was completely full of water, so probably five or six feet of water. He opened these doors right here and the water just flowed out," said Deb Young, who lives on the corner of North and Quarry Streets.

Yards are filled with rocks, cars are stuck and most residents are without water, sewage and power.

"We're uncovering the sewer now. We know everything up here where the major washout happened is broken. We're checking it here and we're re-hooking up this sewer right now," said Jeffrey Rawls, a mechanic for Shue Brothers, a private excavation company working on the road.

North Street was redone just two years ago so the Department of Public Works says it's not a structural issue, but it was no match for Mother Nature.

"Just too much water for the culverts to take. It came way too fast," said Josh Marmot, the assistant superintendent for the Department of Public Works. "We're putting bigger culverts in the driveways. They're only a 10-inch, we're going with 15. That'll take care of that," said Josh Marmot, assistant superintendent for the DPW.

But, residents are staring at high costs and because this never happens here, many of their homes aren't protected.

"What home has flood insurance if you're not near a river? No, our son called. There's no coverage," said Judith Weber, whose family lives on North Street.

"They're just going to start cleaning up. They're hard-working people, they'll get at it and do what they can to get it cleaned up," said Matthew Weber.

The DPW says it will take at least a week to get the road up and running again.

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