One of the seasonal problems on the Mohawk River is the build up of ice on the river as much as a foot thick.  If we have a winter thaw involving a significant amount of rain the ice tends to break up and accumulate making an ice dam restricting downstream flow.  This is the second winter the the tug Margot has been tied up above lock 7 to break up the ice as it forms between there and Schenectady.  With this winter’s mercuric freeze/thaw cycles the tactic worked.  However seeing a tug boat landlocked on the otherwise closed and frozen waterway is an unusual and strange sight.

Flooding also occurs from unusually heavy spring rains. Such weather occurred this spring specifically April 6 and 7. The Vischer Ferry Preserve with all its wetland acts as a flood control structure naturally holding flood waters that might overwhelm downstream residences and riverside structures. As frustrating as it seems to not be able to use some of the recreational facilities in the Preserve, it could be worse. Flooding pictured here was just below the level of the Riverview Road pavement.

Worse flooding occurred after the area was inundated with the two hurricanes during late August 2011. The following photograph shows the resulting flooding over Riverview Road in Halfmoon just west of the Boyack Road intersection. The Byway was impassable for the better part of two days until the water receded.