Friday, March 11, 2011

River Watch

Heavy rains, snow melt, ice jams: conditions were ripe for serious flooding along the Hudson today. I heard that folks up in Warren County were being evacuated from homes along the river, so I called my friend Evelyn, who lives in North Creek, and she said she was fine but that a nearby section of road was now under water because of ice dams. I almost went up there to check it out, but decided to see what was happening along the Hudson in Saratoga County instead.

I headed east from Saratoga toward Stillwater, passing many swollen and overflowing creeks along the way.

Cutting through the Saratoga Battlefield National Park, I found the normally quiet stream that runs through the park a rowdy riotous river.

The deer that populate the park had all headed for higher ground.

Highway 4 runs along the Hudson between Schuylerville and Stillwater, and I expected to see some sections threatened by flooding from the river. Sure enough, there was flooding, but not from the river, which today remained within its banks. The flooding here was caused by run-off from hills filling the roadside ditches to overflowing.

Despite warning signs, some cars hardly bothered to slow down at all, but went barreling through the water.

At Stillwater, the Hudson was high but not overflowing, a sparkling expanse under a wide blue sky.

I next headed north to Hadley, at the top of Saratoga County. Quite a change in the weather up here, with dark rain clouds touching the tops of the mountains.

At Hadley, the Hudson runs through a gorge at Rockwell Falls. The falls were plenty energetic today, but I've seen them fuller and faster. Those ice dams up north must be keeping the water back.

The Sacandaga River, which joins the Hudson at Hadley, was nearly dry today, despite three days of rain and melting snow. Must be the dam upriver at Conklinville, which was built specifically for flood control, is holding all that runoff in the Sacandaga Reservoir.

On my way home I detoured along Spier Falls Road to see what was happening in the river at Moreau. As this photo and the next one show, all was serene.

I even found Pussy Willow, a sure sign of spring.


asita said...

It seems so beautiful up there. One more place on my list of places I'd like to visit some day.
Stay dry!

Ellen Rathbone said...

Wow! Very impressive. Love the last two serene shots. And pussy willows! I'll have to see if I can find any here. I sure do miss mine in Newcomb! Maybe I'll plant some more when I finally find a home.

catharus said...

Yes, I like those last two shots!
'Similar conditions in central PA: a good bit of fresh snow early in the week (12") plus all the rain later in the week resulted in some flooding.