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Buckton woman forced to leave home due to flooding

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WINTHROP - A Buckton woman was evacuated from her home Thursday morning after flooding from the nearby St. Regis River left her home on the crest of a hill surrounded by water.

Stockholm Town Highway Superintendent Jeff Russell said the town had closed a portion of the East Part Road last week when an ice jam on the river led to water crossing the road just north of M. Josie O’Higgins’s home. He said a check of road conditions this morning resulted in the discovery that there was a stretch with approximately a foot of water crossing the roadway south of Ms. O’Higgins’s residence.

Mr. Russell said he stopped at the O’Higgins residence and told Mrs. O’Higgins she needed to pack her bags and relocate until the flooding subsides. He said Mrs. O’Higgins is now staying with a neighbor.

“The boys (members of the highway department) went and got her,” he said, noting he was concerned if the water rose any higher she would be trapped in her home.

The long-time Stockholm highway superintendent said flooding on the north side of the O’Higgins residence, near the intersection with state Route 11, was not uncommon. But he said this was the first time he has seen flooding on the south side of her residence.

He said the town road is relatively well travelled. “A lot of people travel it. People from that side of the town use it as a shortcut to Route 11,” he pointed out.

Mrs. O’Higgins said she is lucky to have good neighbors. She is staying with Edgar and Jean Kelly, who live on Route 11, a short distance from her home.

“I’m calling it Kelly’s Inn. It’s the second time I’ve been here since Thanksgiving. I stayed with them during the ice storm because I didn’t want to be home alone if we lost power,” she said.

She said she has lived on the East Part Road for 26 years, and this is the first time she has had to be evacuated due to flooding.

“I’m hoping I’ll be back home in a day or so. This is the first time anything like this has happened,” the East Part Road resident said.

Mrs. O’Higgins said she was surprised to discover there was water crossing the road on both sides of her home.

“Yesterday there wasn’t any water on the Buckton side. I couldn’t believe how much water was on the road there today. I have a little car, and I wouldn’t be able to get through it,” she suggested.

“It’s awful. There is a big lake out back of my house right now. The next house I get won’t be on the river. It’s beautiful here in the summer but ...,” Mrs. O’Higgins noted.

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