suns along the Mohawk

another snowmelt flood-watch along the Mohawk (with updates)

10 pm Sunday: River at a standstill, near minor flood level –

– ice build-up at the Riverside Park Esplanade, 10 PM Sunday  –

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 – Monday follow-up: click to see photos of the lovely aftermath under blues skies on Monday –

  A Flood Warning was issued at 11:33 PM Sunday, through late Monday night.

NWS: The Mohawk was at 219.76′ at 10:50 pm at Schenectady. Minor flood stage is 220′. It is predicted to peak at 221.3′ at 7 AM Monday.

. . . 6 PM Sunday update:

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above: [L] 9 AM and [R] 5 PM Sunday at Riverside Park (click on a photo for larger version)

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– [L] 9 AM at Riverside Park Esplanade; [R] 5 PM at Esplanade (Sunday, 12Jan2014)

6 PM Sunday update:  Despite my ho-hum attitude this morning, the Mohawk has risen quickly this afternoon at Schenectady, reaching about 217′ at 5 PM, with 216′ being the Action Stage, and the Flood Level at 220′.

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– [L] 9 AM and [R] 5 PM Sunday at end of Washington Ave. in Schenectady Stockade –

Nonetheless, the National Weather Service prediction service has not yet issued any predictions for the Mohawk at Schenectady.  That may be because the water level will depend on the happenstance of weather ice chunks and floes start accumulating at bridges or bends of the River.

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– CSX Trestle [L] 9 AM and [R] 5 PM –

The water was still moving smoothly and fairly well along Riverside Park at 5 PM, although it has filled up with ice debris, and does not have large open water areas as it did this morning.

I was told by an Alplaus fire department officer that the River was almost at a standstill at Rexford, around 4:30 PM.  The water may start backing up and rise more at Schenectady should it slow further at Rexford.  Note that NWS has already predicted that the Mohawk has peaked without flooding at Little Falls, and predicted to peak at five feet below flood level at Cohoes overnight.

. . . Sunday morning update (Jan. 12):


– above: scene about 9 AM Sunday of the Mohawk looking west from [top] Schenectady’s Washington Ave. and [lower] the Riverside Park esplanade with its water level gauge –

 The wind was a lot scarier than the River this morning along the Mohawk in Riverside Park.  There are still no large chunks of ice in evidence that could accumulate at bridge and trestle piers, and the water level at Freeman’s Bridge is about 211 feet, well below the 220′ flood stage at that location, and basically the same level as before the spike in temperature and weekend rains.   Plus, the sky has some hints of blue, making it even easier to be optimistic that there is virtually no likelihood of flooding here in the Stockade.

– no chunks of ice have accumulated at the CSX trestle –

According to the Sunday Times Union, it was fogging, not flooding, that was a problem yesterday or overnight in the region, and the National Weather Service has reduced its alert from a Flood Warning to a Flood Watch for eastern New York, with the alert expiring at 6 PM Sunday.

 The photos in the update were taken between 9:00 and 9:30 am, Sunday, January 12, 2014.


original posting:

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– the Mohawk was covered with ice on Friday (L) and free-flowing 24 hours later –

Officials and regular folks have been watching creeks and rivers around eastern New York this weekend to see whether rains and warm temperatures will cause the streams to overflow, with special worry over ice jams caused by the melting crusts of ice that have formed during the recent spate of frigid weather.  See the Albany Times Union, “Flooding possible in parts of region” (Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014) Here along the Schenectady-Stockade stretch of the Mohawk, rapid snow melt can cause flooding, but this time of year the culprit is much more likely to be large chunks of ice jamming at the CSX trestle, with waters swollen by overflowing creeks upstream.

After a number of trips to my backyard and Riverside Park, at the end of my block, I can say that things look pretty good along the Mohawk as of Saturday evening.  (Disclaimer: the late-afternoon fog [see photo above] might have been covering a drastic rise in the water level, but I doubt it.) The collage below gives examples of scenes that I have found this weekend at the River (click on it for a larger version).