Upper Saranac Lake Association

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  • May 8, 2018
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The following letter was received from the Upper Saranac Foundation this afternoon. We are very grateful for the action of the USF and the state and local authorities who have responded. We will update you on this web site if we receive any additional information.

May 8, 2018

To all Upper Saranac Lake Residents:

On May 4th Kevin Bodmer, caretaker at Bartlett Carry Club, reported a small sinkhole on the north side of the dam. On May 5th Guy Middleton investigated the incident and decided to report it as a Level C event under the guidelines of the Emergency Action Plan for the Bartlett Carry Dam developed for the Upper Saranac Foundation by Blue Mountain Engineering.

This plan was developed in 2012 to be used as a guideline in the event of any kind of issue at the dam. There are a set of protocols that require reporting to different levels of Government Agencies depending on the threat level. A level C event is an observation of some small change.

The morning of May 6, Jim Crane (board member) and Guy Middleton revisited the sinkhole and it appeared to be slightly enlarged. Based on the protocols in the EAP, it was decided to notify all government agencies listed on the plan of the change in status to a level B.

Later on the morning of May 6, all parties involved were on board. The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department brought in sandbags and the area affected was closed off with plastic sheeting and sandbags. In addition, the sinkhole was filled with sandbags. This was all done under the direct supervision of Alon Dominitz, head of NYSDEC Dam Safety, who drove up from Albany. The situation was stabilized.

Later that evening on May 6, Jim and Guy met with our engineer, John Carr, and started looking at the next steps. Most immediately would be to monitor the sinkhole for any changes. A reporting system was put in place and a Fire Department radio is on scene.

We met with engineer John Carr and Kevin Bodmer yesterday and are putting together a long term strategy to do whatever is necessary to discover the source of the sinkhole. It was agreed to reduce the threat level back to a level C.

I am happy to report that as of this morning, there is no change.

The EAP worked exactly as designed and many thanks to all government agencies who were involved.

Tom Swayne
President, Upper Saranac Foundation

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