Friday, April 29, 2011

Scenes of a Flooded Hudson

I haven't heard the official numbers, but I did hear that the Hudson River has never been so high above flood stage as it went this week. As the waters start to recede, my friend Sue and I drove around to some of our riverside haunts to document what this once-in-our-liftime flooding looked like.

We started at the Betar Byway in South Glens Falls, where we could not park in the beach parking lot, because it was under water.

Nor could we sit on this deck at a bend of the river, since we hadn't worn hip waders.

We probably could have continued along the Byway in our Wellies, but we weren't quite sure exactly how deep that water was. Plus, it was running fast across the walkway.

This goose had the walkway all to himself.

These geese were wandering around like lost souls, since, according to a fellow who feeds them daily, the flood had washed away the nest they had built on an island that now wasn't there.

Because we couldn't get there on foot along the Byway, we had to drive around to the falls that gives Glens Falls its name. Normally, the falls is just a dribble over spectacular rocks, since most of the river here is diverted to a hydroelectric plant. But today the Hudson was roaring over every one of the floodgates.

We climbed down to where sluices feed the turbines and got very close to the river's roar and roil.

We next drove to the Sherman Island boat launch along Spier Falls Road in Moreau, and found the river here had made its way back into the woods, inundating a picnic area and fishing dock.

You can still see the trees out there, but the islands are well under water.

The roiling dark waters were swirling with foam, and a big heap of it had collected along a bank.

The Spier Falls Dam was going full throttle, the river plunging through all of the gates and exploding around the far end as well.

Well, I wasn't really planning to take a dip today, anyway.
I was hoping to get my canoe in the water this week, but I guess I will wait a while. State conservation officials are advising paddlers to stay off the icy cold and swiftly moving waterways, and are also asking hikers to stay off muddy mountain trails. Many roads throughout the Adirondacks still remain impassable.


Lindsey said...

WOW. Guess I'll wait a bit before heading to Betar again hahaha! There is a parking spot here in Hudson Falls heading to South Glens Falls that overlooks the dam up here, the parking lot is always empty until now, and now you can't even park, so many people taking photos of the raging waters!

catharus said...

Yeh, I thought I heard about record flood stage for Lake Champlain. Is that correct?

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Lindsey, I went to the river today (Tues.) and it was still raging. I think it will be a while before I can safely canoe it.

Hi catharus, I haven't heard any numbers about Lake Champlain, but I do know the Hudson was almost two feet above record height.

Anonymous said...

There are so many things that have struck an interest connected to this page:
your comments on Karavalli inspired me to come here
we were going to go to Schuylerville on Sunday to see the river (we've biked from S'ville to Sara Battleground a few times stopping at a riverside fishin' hole en route to take a picnic)however walked around Saratoga including Congress Park, etc.
we've had a canoe for a year and enjoyed being introduced to the Hudson River boat launch near Moreau Lake SP.
My sister introduced us to Betar and we've enjoyed it a few times-very nice
This morning we read MLK's comments on a friend's FB page-we were very pleasantly surprised(shocked?) by her sentiments of not taking joy in the killing of another (in this case, OBL, or UBL)despite their misdeeds
otherwise, we too are hikers although not even close to being knowledgeable botanists as you are. Anyway, thanks very much for the great blog and all the "connections"