The roads are open again in the town of Fairfield, but there is still a lot of work to do, according to Fairfield Town Highway Superintendent William Dillenbeck.
“The roads are all open now,” Dillenbeck said Thursday afternoon. “A lot of ditching has been done, culverts cleaned out, shoulders repaired.”
Fairfield took the brunt of Sunday’s thunderstorms, which caused flooding, closed roads and knocked out power. It was the heavy rain that caused most of the damage though and the town could see more of that.
“They’re calling for 1 to 3 inches tonight,” he said. “If we don’t get it all at once, we should be in pretty good shape. On Sunday we got four inches in 30 to 40 minutes.”
He said town crews worked until after midnight Sunday to open a pair of dead-end roads to allow residents access to their homes. Four other roads were severely damaged, he said, and crews have been working all week to make them passable. Some were scheduled to be on vacation, but came in to help. Highway crews from neighboring towns, including Salisbury, German Flatts, Ohio and Norway assisted, as did private contractors.
The town also received offers of assistance from the towns of Herkimer and Newport.
Dillenbeck said he hasn’t seen the bills yet, but he estimated the cost of the damages at $40,000 to $50,000. “Hopefully we’ll get some reimbursement from the state, but I doubt it,” he said, adding that the damage was localized, making it more difficult to qualify for aid. “To get aid from FEMA, the state has to declare an emergency,” he said.
Rain and thunderstorms are forecast for tonight and Friday and the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for upstate New York as well as for most of Vermont and surrounding states.