Streams swell, but no flooding in Capital Region
CAPITAL REGION Downpours over the weekend melted a good deal of the snowpack around the Capital Region and brought some waterways to the brink of flood stage, but the abrupt spring thaw didn’t cause any significant problems Sunday.
The National Weather Service in Albany issued a flood warning at the confluence of the Canajoharie Creek and Mohawk River on Sunday morning, but lifted it by later in the afternoon. A reprieve from Saturday evening’s steady rainfall allowed water levels on the Mohawk to recede.
Gauges at Freeman’s Bridge in Schenectady indicated the river crested at 217.8 feet around 5 p.m. Sunday, which is more than two feet below flood stage. The water level was expected to drop about two feet by dawn, according to the Weather Service.
“Overall we anticipate the levels to slowly come down,” said Brian Montgomery, an NWS meteorologist in Albany.
That doesn’t mean the risk of flooding is over. Montgomery said the Mohawk is still filled with ice, meaning the potential for jams is high, especially in areas prone for such blockages, such as the low-lying areas of Schenectady’s Stockade neighborhood.
“Those chunks of ice are moving down river,” he said. “With manmade and other obstructions, there could be some problems with water backing up.”
The risk increases if the area gets another round of showers. Though much of the Capital Region’s snow pack has melted, there is still 5 to 10 inches on the ground in the Adirondacks and other higher elevations.
As a result, the Weather Service kept a flood watch in effect for much of the Capital Region through this morning, meaning there is a potential for flooding.
Also in effect through the morning was a winter weather advisory in southern Saratoga County and eastern Albany County, with freezing rain and possibly even snow accumulation in the forecast.
The Weather Service indicated rivers and streams in the southern and eastern parts of the Capital Region could be vulnerable to minor flooding.
“There’s still more to go,” Montgomery said. “There may be some future problems down the road.”