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What you need to know for 04/23/2017

Mohawk River stays within banks as weather moderates

Mohawk River stays within banks as weather moderates

Communities along the Mohawk River braced for flooding over the weekend but stayed well above water.
Mohawk River stays within banks as weather moderates
Dave Butterworth of Albany photographs the ice melting on the Hudson River at the Corning Preserve in Albany on Sunday,
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

Communities along the Mohawk River braced for flooding over the weekend but stayed well above water.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith spent much of Sunday watching water rise around ice jams, but as of Sunday night said the fear of flooding was largely passed.

“It’s very hard to predict what Mother Nature is going to do,” he said, “but I think it will all take care of itself.”

The National Weather Service in Albany issued a flood watch Saturday for a large section of the Mohawk River. Meteorologist Ian Lee said the crew worried ice along the river would back up under forecasted rain, sending water over banks and into people’s basements.

Some rain did fall, he said, between a half inch and an inch in the greater Schenectady and Amsterdam area, but it didn’t cause significant problems. Lee said the ice wasn’t thick enough.

“It might look like you have ice jams,” Smith said, “but sometimes the ice is thin and allows water to flow beneath.”

In Montgomery County, he said, ice jammed up in the Mohawk River east of Canajoharie, forcing water to near summer levels, but not over the banks. There were also two jams on the Otsquago Creek in the town of Minden. One forced water out of the stream and into a wooded area.

“But it wasn’t populated,” Smith said, “so it’s fine.”

Today, he has a meeting with Department of Transportation officials to discuss removal of the Otsquago Creek ice jams. The jam in the Mohawk, he said, would be too hard to reach and will likely break up on its own anyway.

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