Schenectady County Residents Told to be on Alert for Flooding
Bitter cold temps last week and temps approaching 60 over the next couple days is expected to lead to flooding in some areas. Rain is also expected Thursday into Friday, which has the National Weather Service issuing a Flood Watch for the Capital Region and parts of Vermont until 7pm Friday (2/18).
The New York State Canal Corporation and the New York Power Authority are sending a tugboat out onto the Mohawk River to try and chop up some parts that have frozen over. The objective is to open a path along the river where water and ice can flow freely, reducing the risk of ice jams and flooding.
The area under the most concern is a 3 mile stretch between Lock 7 and Lock 8, which includes Schenectady's Stockade Neighborhood, notorious for having issues with flooding. Union College Geologist John Garver told NewsChannel 13 another area of concern is where Schenectady County meets Saratoga County at Rexford:
They [ice jams] cause what we call backup flooding and that backup flooding can cause 5, 10, 15 even 20 feet of difference between the upstream and downstream.
Adding to the problem is anticipated rain Thursday into Friday. Of course all that rain, surface runoff and melting snow will make its way into streams, creeks and eventually the river.
This problem happens just about every year, so people in the areas most prone are used to it - however with the tugboat breaking up the ice, officials are hoping for a less dramatic rise in water levels.