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Storm results in some flooding in Capital Region

Storm results in some flooding in Capital Region

'As temperatures drop into the night, that should reduce ice jams and flash flooding'
Storm results in some flooding in Capital Region
Rayshawn Lewis scrapes snow and ice from the windshield of his car on Brandywine Avenue in Schenectady on Saturday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

The abrupt drop in temperatures on Saturday caused icy road conditions and flooding throughout the Capital Region.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory until 7 p.m. that night for the Capital Region as well as the eastern Catskill, Schoharie Valley, and mid-Hudson Valley region. 

According to meterologist Joe Cebuldo, a flood watch was initially issued for the Mohawk River at Schenectady that was in effect until 7 p.m. Saturday. A tweet from NYAlert.gov reported at press deadline that the same office had upgraded the flood watch to a flood warning, which remained in effect until Sunday morning at 5:25 a.m.  

"The Mohawk River at Schenectady is over the mild flood stage and is expected to stay that way," he said. "As temperatures drop into the night, that should reduce ice jams and flash flooding."

A tweet from NYAlert.gov reported at press deadline that the same office had upgraded the flood watch to a flood warning, which remained in effect until Sunday morning at 5:25 a.m.  

Schenectady resident David Giacalone said at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, the top of the ice field on the Mohawk River had stopped moving.

He added that water was filling the yards of residents on Cucumber Alley with some water flowing into Riverside Park's lawn at the edge of the riverbank. 

The National Weather Service continued to monitor the Mohawk River throughout the day on Saturday. 

Meteorologist Brian Montgomery said water was moving along nicely through Lock 8 in Schenectady on Saturday morning. 

Montgomery added that water levels in the Mohawk River fluctuated on Saturday as ice moved through.

At 11:20 a.m. on Saturday, the Mohawk River near Freeman’s Bridge was 217 feet, three feet below the flood stage.

“The Mohawk has unique turns and bends, so we’ll see how the ice moves through,” Montgomery said. “Hopefully there will be no challenges or jams.”

Several flood warnings were issued across the area on Saturday including the Mettawee River, which passes through Granville, and for south central Hamilton County and northeastern Fulton County.

Flooding was reported along Route 30 between Wells and Northville due to an ice jam.

The Village of St. Johnsville in Montgomery County declared a state of emergency on Saturday for local flooding and ice jams along Williams and West streets, which are closed to traffic.

Evan Heller, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Duanesburg had one inch of snow Saturday morning while Saratoga Springs had 1.2 inches.

Heller said Saturday’s high temperature were 39 degrees and the low was 17 degrees.

Doug Myers, director of Public Affairs at Albany International Airport, said Cape Air cancelled Saturday flights to Ogdensburg and two American Airlines flights to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. were cancelled.

snowplowprb.jpg

A city of Schenectady snow plow clears a path on Monument Drive in Central Park on Jan. 13, 2018. (Peter R. Barber)

“Everything else is operating on time,” he said. “The storm didn’t have much of an impact.”

Myers added that some airlines pre-treat their aircraft before a storm to make them easier to de-ice.

“This accounted for some of the on-time performance this morning,” he said. “Freezing rain is the most difficult thing to deal with when it comes to aircraft, because ice sticks to it whereas snow blows right off.”

The National Weather Service said temperatures across the Capital Region on Sunday will range from the upper teens into the low 20s with wind chills in the single digits to 10 degrees. 

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