Friday, August 17News That Matters

Concern over large ice jam

Schenectady, N.Y. (NEWS 10) – A 17 mile ice jam on the Mohawk River is causing some concern throughout the region, especially in waterfront neighborhoods. 

 

Residents in Schenectady’s  historic Stockade District like Lewis Schwartz have seen plenty of flooding, but this massive ice jam is causing new concern. 

 

“Everybody is anxious,” Schwartz says. “Everybody is very aware that this is the longest ice jam that has been seen in recent years.” 

 

But according to the National Weather Service, Schwartz and his neighbors probably don’t need to worry anytime soon.  News 10 spoke to a hydrologist who says  the temperatures over the next couple days could be ideal for a slow thaw. 

 

“Really what we’re looking at for the next few days is probably the best case scenario… daytime temperatures just above freezing, going back below freezing at night and minimal amounts of rainfall,” says Britt Westergard, a Senior Service Hydrologist for the National Weather Service. 

 

But the National Weather Service is still trying to stay ahead of an emergency situation by monitoring the river levels since rain and warmer temperatures could potentially cause flooding. 

 

“It certainly would take a lot to move it. We’d need a period of several days of warmer temperatures..50s, 60s.. and a significant amount of rainfall,” Westergard says.

 

And the National Weather Service is not acting alone. They are working hand-in-hand with the State Department of Emergency Management. 

 

“We provide I think between the two counties along the 17 miles over 13 thousand sandbags. And we’ve provided pumps should flooding happen so that we can redirect the water immediately,” says Roger Parrino, the Commissioner 

of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. 

 

 And though the Department of Emergency Management is   prepared to handle anything they are hoping for the best. “We think it’s gonna be warm days and cool nights. We want a slow melt. Not a big fast melt,” Parrino says. 

 

If you are concerned about ice jam flooding in your neighborhood the department of emergency management says to visit their website to learn about precautionary measures you could be taking to prepare. That website is 

www.prepare.ny.gov