Posted by: David Giacalone | February 20, 2018

Presidents Week Stockade flood watch

HydroMohawk20Feb10a . . click here, or on this chart to see the latest Mohawk River level reading and hydrologic prediction at Schenectady (Freeman’s Bridge). Flood Stage is 220 ft. . . 

Record warmth on Feb. 20 & 21, with rain, is expected to melt Adirondack snow and significantly raise water levels. The 14-miles of ice cover in Schenectady County’s portion of the Mohawk is an unpredictable factor, and break-up of the floes may cause ice jams with water backing up and over the River banks.

 . . At 10:10 am, Tuesday, Feb. 20, the Mohawk River level was 215′. Flood Stage is 220′.

  • Click for WTEN meteorologist Steve Caporizzo’s Twitter page, to get his latest forecasts and insights on flooding in the Region.
  • And, check out the Live Webcam at the Union College Boathouse, for real-time views of the Mohawk near the CSX Trestle and the Stockade

This webposting will be updated frequently to show conditions and predictions.

Here are photos from Sunday evening, February 18, which are still representative of conditions on Tuesday morning, Feb. 20, 2018. Click on a photo for a larger version.


above: view [L] west and [R] east from the Riverside Park esplanade . .

below: view [L] west end of Riverside Park; and [R] end of Cucumber Alley, where the Binnekill enters the Mohawk River

 . . 

  • To see the ice floes at the Park on January 19-20, click here.
  • Click here, to see the original flash-frozen flooding and ice floes on January 13-14.
Posted by: David Giacalone | February 14, 2018

Valentine flamingos return to the Stockade

 . . . blue sky Valentine afternoon! . . IMG_6249

IMG_6239 . . .

 The mysterious Stockade Valentine Flamingo Tradition continues at Lawrence Circle. The following photographs were taken slightly before midnight on February 14, 2018.  When the sun is up and throughout the day today, the 2018 Flamingo Visitation will be further documented and presented below.

. . enjoy the good weather and stop by Lawrence Circle for Valentine’s Day 2018. Don’t dally, as most years they depart a couple hours after dark. . 

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1:30 PM: A bit of blue sky just opened, so I am going to head back to Lawrence Circle. I hope this Slideshow will hold Flamingo Fans until I get back with more. Even gray skies do not dim the pink romantic glow.

  • For a larger version of a Slideshow image, pause on the photo, right-click and choose Open Image in New Tab.


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. . 3:00 PM: a second visit to capture the blue skies was well worth it; see photos and the 2nd Slideshow below . .




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    IMG_6243 .

. . Happy Valentine’s Day from “suns along the Mohawk”, Lawrence, his Flamingo Sweethearts, and the Historic Stockade . . 


SPECIAL THANKS to Christina Erne and Steve Caporizzo of STORM TRACKER 10, from News10, Albany NY, for featuring the Stockade Valentine Flamingos on this evening’s broadcasts, and letting Christina spend a couple hours at Lawrence Circle.



Posted by: David Giacalone | January 24, 2018

mid-week River Watch

IMG_6058 Thursday (Jan. 25, 7 AM) Update: The Mohawk has been going down slowly all night and is projected to continue to fall. Click here for the NWS Hydrograph. At 6 AM the level was 219.43, with 220.0 as the flood level. FYI: See “Cuomo says special teams are assessing ice jams across upstate” (Times Union, Rick Karlin, Jan. 25, 2018)

Flood possibility Wed. Evening ALERT: The City of Schenectady issued an Updated Weather Advisory for Stockaders on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 24. Click on the image to the right. And see Gazette coverage, here. .


. .  . .

. . the River end of Cucumber Alley, Wed. Jan. 24, [above] 1 PM [below] 5 PM. . The Mohawk River rose to the level of the alleyway . .


 7 PM Wed. River Watch: The general flood watch for the Capital Region was called off by this morning, Wednesday, January 24. But, the Mohawk did not perform as expected overnight, and continued rising all day rather than falling. As of the time I am posting this piece, the Mohawk at the Stockade is .3 of a foot from the 220′ flood level. The National Weather Service and our County Emergency Management officials apparently have no current plans to announce a flood alert or the need for emergency measures. Naturally, I hope they are correct.

And, even more naturally, I took advantage of the beauty and power of the River view to takes some photos, and put them in a Slideshow.

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east end of Esplanade, looking west

Posted by: David Giacalone | January 22, 2018

flash-frozen floes still in place

IMG_5943 . . . IMG_5933

. . Saturday afternoon: above: [R] ice built up at the river-end of the lot at 4 Washington Ave, site of the “raised Stockade house“; [L] ice floe array on east side of Riverside Park 


above: looking east from Esplanade railing; below: Park explorers with cameras; . . . 


It has been just over a week since the Mohawk River flooded onto Schenectady’s Riverside Park and the north end of four Stockade neighborhood streets along the Park. The flash-freeze of flood waters late Saturday night (Jan. 13-14) left a sheet of ice on the roadways and the Park, including freezing on and around the ice floes that had been pushed over the riverbank and into the Park by the rushing waters and jammed ice. [Click Here to see our photos from January 13 & 14.]

  •  A few inches of snow that came later in the week gave a superficially normal-looking appearance to the West Lawn of Riverside Park, until you looked closer, or your foot went crashing through a thin sheet of flash-freeze ice, or you encountered the edge of a large, foot-thick, flat-top ice floe.
  •  Meanwhile, along the Park’s walkway and the riverbank, ice-floes and ice chunks of all sizes and shapes were strewn and clustered, and locked into place because of the flash-freeze.


  •  By last Friday (Jan. 19,2018), work crews had chopped away the ice on the pathway, from the Park entrance at Washington Avenue, past Governor’s Lane, but the clearing stopped abruptly and left a fairly tame-looking but treacherous trek over snow-covered floes and sheets of ice to reach the Esplanade and N. Ferry Street.

 By The Way: The term “flash-freeze” came into wide use earlier this month, when a giant East Coast storm brought frigid temperatures and some ocean flooding in New England. For example, Revere, Massachusetts had a flash-freeze of an ocean tidal surge about two weeks ago. See this YouTube CNN video, explaining cars frozen in place on a Revere street in a January 4 video clip posted on Twitter by @Adam28691.

Advisory Stockade Weather Advisory: On January 18, 2018, the Schenectady police Department issued a Weather Advisory Notice for Stockade Residents, advising of “a possible weather hazard starting this weekend and continuing over the next few weeks due to the condition of the Mohawk River. The Potential of flooding exists from ice jams, change in temperature and precipitation.” The Notice says that residents should prepare themselves for flooding and be ready to evacuate.” Residents are also urged to update their contact information for the County Emergency Rapid Notification Call System, at .

red-check Note: click to see National Weather Service river level chart for Schenectady (Freeman’s Bridge). And, see the Mohawk River Ice Jam Monitoring system, which includes the Stockade Webcam, a camera at the Union College boathouse.

 . . rear of 1 Cucumber Alley

The Slideshow below has photos taken along Riverside Park and at the end of Cucumber Alley on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 19-20.

  • CH13DAG19Jan2018. (January 19, 2018): Thanks to John Craig and NewsChannel 13 for interviewing this old ice jam watcher and photo-taker along the Mohawk.  Despite the statement in the video, we have had several ice jams along the Stockade portion of the Mohawk since 2010; that year was the most recent when ice floes jumped the banks onto the Park. Short video here

 mallards near Cucumber Alley … IMG_5911

  • To see a larger version of an image in the Slideshow, pause it on the image, right-click and choose Show Image in New Tab. 

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  • TU-DAGmallards24Jan2018 Thank you to the Albany Times Union for featuring one of our Mallards at the Binnekill photos in the January 24, 2018 web and newsprint [image on right] editions, in their Your Best Shot feature. I appreciate that they left my allusion to the inability of Rivers Casino to attract tourists: “When they decided to leave en masse, they did not head east toward Rivers Casino, but were seen flying south.” May they wanted to check out the Feb. 8 opening of the billion dollar Resorts World Catskills Casino at Monticello. See “New Catskills casino brings glimmer of hope” (Gazette, by Charles Bagli, originally in the New York Times, Jan. 12, 2017)
Posted by: David Giacalone | January 13, 2018

ice jamming all weekend on the Mohawk

follow-up: Click here to see ice floe conditions a week later, Jan. 19 & 20.

flooding update: Monday, January 15, 2018

IMG_5803 . .  IMG_5814

. . above: Riverside Park Esplanade, Monday, 2:30 pm; seen on WTEN with Steve Caporizzo. . 

The River continues to fall, and the NSW shows it at about 4 feet below flood level Monday evening. Ice has been removed from the roadways that were flooded Saturday night, but temperatures have preserved frozen floodwaters elsewhere, creating interesting effects. Below is a 40-photo Monday Slideshow, with the icy Esplanade and Park, and the invaded rear of Cucumber Alley featured.


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IMG_5796 . west end Riverside Park, Monday, 2:15 pm



Park playlot and CSX trestle



3pm Sun.

 The Mohawk River has been coming down very slowly overnight (see National Weather Service chart) at Schenectady, and is likely to be below flood level by early this afternoon [Note: In fact, at 11:45 am, the Mohawk fell below flood stage and is predicted to continue falling.]. Last night and this morning, the ice jam has been stationary, with occasional cracking sounds. By late Saturday night, frozen river water covered Riverside Park and came onto Ingersoll Ave., North Ferry Street, the parking area at the end of Governor’s Lane, as well as the end of Cucumber Avenue. This morning, ice covers each of these narrow roadways, and they may remain icy throughout Sunday and Monday, given the frigid forecast, unless City crews break up and remove it today. (see today’s TU coverage) Temperatures were near zero at sunrise Sunday, with uncomfortable wind chills.

Nonetheless, I took an early photoshoot stroll of the flooded areas, and the results are below. Scroll down further for Saturday’s full photo and video coverage.

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 . . North Street, 8 AM Sunday

Sunday Slideshow – photos taken 7:30 am to 8:15 am.  Note: for a larger version of a Slideshow image, pause on the photo, right-click, and choose Open Image in New Tab 

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. . Esplanade .  IMG_5734

IMG_5759 . . looking east from west end of Park


west entry to Riverside Park, Sunday 8:15 am

. . .


Saturday update (3:30 PM): The ice floes have stopped flowing for now, but the water level is at flood stage (top of the riverbank), with some water in Riverside Park. See 2 dozen photos in Slideshow II below. Here’s a sample:


NSWGraphSchdyMidniteSat update (Midnight Saturday): The ice field is stationary, with shallow water covering Riverside Park. The latest National Weather Service water level report (image to the right) shows the Mohawk having peaked, and continuing to decline, with the expectation that it will be lower than 220.0 ft, flood stage, by noon on Sunday. (Sunday, 8:30 AM): The Gazette and Times Union tell us that Ingersoll Ave. and North Ferry St. had some flood water last night. I will have photos up at this posting later Sunday morning.

Original Posting

 . . . 

. . above: scene at Riverside Park esplanade [L] 10:17 am; [R] 10:35 am . . thank you, Times Union for using both photos online Saturday afternoon . 

When I got to the end of Washington Avenue and the entryway to Riverside Park at 10:12 am today (Saturday), the Mohawk River was totally still, with stationary chunks of ice crammed together and askew. Twenty minutes later, the ice layer had cracked and the River was a fast-moving torrent of water and ice floes, with many pushing up along the Riverbank.

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. . go to this posting to see what was happening yesterday, Jan. 12.

This video clip was taken at 10:37 AM:


  • I will be adding photos to this posting until early in the afternoon.

Such power:


IMG_5625 . . . stationary floes, along the former Burr Bridge abutment, 10:12 am, at the end of Washington Avenue, 

IMG_5663 . . west end of Riverside Park, 10:36 am, fast-moving floes

The next short clip shows how large ice floes can be pushed up onto the Park itself, as happened in February 2010.


This Slideshow has photos presented in the order taken this morning, between 10:12 am and 10:38 am.

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Two O’Clock Saturday Stroll

My second (and last) Park stroll of the day produced some pretty pictures, along with discovering that:

  1. the top of the ice field had stopped moving
  2. with water creeping up Cucumber Alley, and filling the yards of both Alley houses;
  3. and, it had reached the flood stage along the Stockade river banks,
  4. with some water flowing into Riverside Park, but not past the pedestrian walkway, and mostly on the lawn right at the edge of the riverbank.  See for yourself in this Slideshow #2.

river end of Cucumber Alley, 2:15 pm Sat.

note: for a larger version of a Slideshow image, pause on the photo, right-click, and choose Open Image in New Tab 

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IMG_5695 . . view west from east end of Park



near Governor’s Lane



esplanade, 2:30 pm Saturday

Posted by: David Giacalone | January 12, 2018

mid-January ice jam watch on the Mohawk

red-check update (noon, Saturday, Jan. 13): The ice cover along the Stockade broke about 10:30 am Saturday, and our coverage can be found at the posting “Saturday ice jamming on the Mohawk.

 . . 

above: Mohawk River along the Schenectady Stockade, Jan. 11, 2018

below: west view from Esplanade, Jan. 12, 2018, 5:17 pm



. . 

above4 Washington Ave, raised above the floodline

Over the past couple of days, there has been extensive media coverage of potential ice jamming and resultant flooding along the Stockade stretch of the Mohawk, due to a two-day warming spell (Thursday and today, Friday, Jan. 12) after our long deep-freeze, and heavy rains forecasted for Friday and Saturday.  On Thursday and Friday evenings, there were tv crews at Riverside Park, and web and hardcopy stories in the Daily Gazette and Times Union.

Ch13crew12Jan2018 This morning (Friday), WNYT NewsChannel 13’s Early Today, the #1 morning news show in the Capital District, had a crew broadcasting from Riverside Park from 5 AM to 7 AM, with veteran reporter John Craig stationed at the end of N. Ferry Street, on the Riverside Park esplanade; and, reporter Abigail Bleck arrived while I was there. [see images to the right and below] Click to see a video clip with John and Stockade Association Vice President Colleen Macaulay.

Ch13Studio-Paul12Jan2018 . .


above: [L] a view of Asa Steckel and Subrina Dhammi in the Ch. 13 studio introducing John Craig; and [R] John Craig interviewing Colleen Macaulay . .

I stopped by the esplanade about 6:45 am and enjoyed chatting with the Ch. 13 crew. The consensus seemed to be that there will not be flooding along the Mohawk over the next few days. Should there be any impending or developing flood or ice jam situations over the weekend, I will cover the situation and post photos here.

  • If you really need to see Stockade ice jams, go to our posting from April 2014 to see icy images from 2009 to 2014, which has a photo-spread of my book Jamming on the Mohawk.
  • MohawkLevel2AMJan12 As of 8 AM Friday, January 12, 2018, the National Weather Service is predicting that the Mohawk at Schenectady [Freeman’s Bridge, actually] will not rise to the 220′ flood stage level over the weekend. There is, of course, a disclaimer that the predictions do not take into account ice.

Evening update, Friday, January 12, 2018: The National Weather Service [NWS] continues to predict the Mohawk cresting at Schenectady, a few feet below flood level, Saturday afternoon, and then receding.

NWS measures the Schenectady level of the Mohawk River from Freeman’s Bridge. The side-by-side images below let you compare the Stockade water level with the Freeman’s Bridge chart, at approximately the same time (click on it for a larger version):





Posted by: David Giacalone | December 25, 2017

a Christmas Stockade stroll


. . Lawrence with Tree at his Circle, circa 3 P.M. . 

 There were very few folks out on this windy Christmas afternoon, but the Stockade still looked lovely. Enjoy a short stroll-ful of 3 dozen photos in the cozy warmth of your home or office, with the Slideshow below. I hope your Yuletide has been heartwarming.

. . another Lawrence on Front St. . . 

. . pause and right-click on a slideshow image, and choose Open Image in New Tab, for a larger version . . 

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. . click to see Bear The Cat in the Window . . IMG_5466


rear of 23 Front St. along Riverside Park

Posted by: David Giacalone | December 17, 2017

one-page Riverside Park 2018 calendars

 Christmas, with the late-December Holiday Season, seems to be coming quite quickly this year, and before it arrives and our focus is elsewhere, I want to thank all those who have visited “suns along the Mohawk” in 2017 — with additional, special appreciation for those who have worked to make the Stockade a special place to live and visit, and those who have expressed their appreciation for this site.

As a small token of my thanks, I’ve put together a number of Riverside Park one-page 2018 calendars for your enjoyment, use, downloading, printing, etc., for your noncommercial use. Each is formatted for 5″ x 7″. Click on a calendar to see a larger version and access the jpg. file for downloading.

. . Wishing all a joy-filled and safe New Year . . 

Our very special neighborhood park deserves and requires our vigilance. That might be why we have that cannon at the end of North Ferry Street.  We want to preserve what makes it so special, for everyone who loves and enjoys it or will in the future, and not — as some Schenectady officials have stated in public — to keep it only for the people of the Stockade.

  •  Some other danger may appear on the horizon, but the most important looming battle, in my estimation, is to ensure that the recently adopted Bike Schenectady Master Plan does not diminish the safety or enjoyment of its sole walkway for the many types and generations of current users. For a detailed analysis click here.

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