Solution possible for ice jams on Mohawk River

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first_imgThis reservoir pool extends upstream 11 miles, passing the Schenectady/Scotia area, to the area of Lock 8.What does this mean?During the winter months, the river velocity slows down significantly, allowing the reservoir pool behind the Vischer Ferry Dam to quickly freeze and develop a thick ice cover.When a runoff event occurs and river ice begins to move, the ice run frequently stops. This builds up a pool that usually forces a breach in the ice jam. The breach in the ice jam allows the flow of water and ice to continue moving downstream.However, when the ice run reaches the massive ice sheet formed behind the Vischer Ferry Dam, often the ice run cannot pass and the ice run stops. Ice then quickly begins to pile up, severely blocking the channel.Too often, the result is a flooding event in the Schenectady/Scotia area.It is worth being reminded that Schenectady’s greatest flood occurred in March of 1914, the year the Vischer Ferry Dam was completed. This would result in increasing river velocity that would facilitate an ice run to pass the Schenectady/Scotia reach and form miles downstream or pass through the dam.If a jam did form, resulting in a backup, the channel would have an extra 10 feet to contain the rising water in the Schenectady/Scotia area.The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is responsible for the canal system, including the Vischer Ferry Dam.It is encouraging to learn that NYPA is conducting a preliminary study of the Vischer Ferry Dam. A draft of this study will be available in as soon as four to six weeks.If our public leaders can understand the impact of this out-of-sight, state-constructed-and-operated structure on the vulnerable high-value, nearby Schenectady/Scotia property, perhaps plans can be developed to significantly reduce future flood threats.Russ Wege is a retired engineer who lives in Glenville.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists This was an ice jam event that produced a 231-foot flood stage at Schenectady.Can anything be done to mitigate this threat?The answer is “yes.”But the solution will take some doing.The Vischer Ferry Dam does not have gates that would allow drainage of the reservoir pool.If the reservoir pool could be partly drained during the winter months, as almost all the other dams in the canal system are, the probability of damaging ice jam floods in the Schenectady/Scotia area would be greatly reduced.For example: Assume the reservoir pool could be reduced 10 feet during the winter months. A thaw or rain event will break loose channel ice, causing it to move downstream as an ice run. The ice will frequently stop and pile up like a dam, creating a backwater pool. When it’s breached it releases a burst of ice and water downstream.Four factors cause ice jamming in the Schenectady/ Scotia reach of the Mohawk River:The river channel narrows near Freeman’s Bridge;The river makes a sharp bend near the Rexford Bridge;Various man-made features (bridge piers and abandoned structures);The ice sheet that develops on the pool upstream from the Vischer Ferry Dam.The Mohawk River is not a naturally flowing river.It is a system of dams that form navigation pools.The gates in these dams are raised during the winter months to drain the river pools to the river’s natural condition.That’s true except for the pool behind the Vischer Ferry Dam.As one drives over the Western Gateway Bridge, Freemans Bridge, or the new Rexford Bridge carrying Route 146 across the Mohawk, we observe this reservoir pool and incorrectly accept the pool as the Mohawk River. Categories: Editorial, OpinionIce jams up in front of Jumpin’ Jacks in Scotia earlier this year. Allowing ice and water to more easily flow past the Vischer Ferry Dam downstream could help reduce future flooding due to ice jams on the Mohawk.The ice jam crisis that flooded the Schenectady/Scotia area has passed, for this winter season.Although this year’s ice jam blockage produced moderate flooding, it was the most severe in several years.Ice jams occur in streams and rivers of New York every winter.last_img read more

Holocaust memorial is best at Museum

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first_imgIn regards to the Holocaust memorial proposed in Niskayuna on the Troy-Schenectady Road, I believe it is planned that the view from the street will be shielded by proposed tree plantings.That is simply an invitation for vandalism. Why not locate it in the New York State Museum in Albany instead?Accessibility is not a problem, and any potential vandalism issue is no longer an issue.Gerald DeAngelusNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, Jan. 8

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first_imgCan you imagine how the troops on the front lines feel about that? They are risking their lives for a man who has never served in the military. Oh how I wish we had a president who presented himself with the dignity and intelligence that his office requires. Our allies must think we have deserted them. So sad for everyone. I sure hope 2019 is going to be better, but I don’t think so. Marty ShantyCharlton Trump lacks dignity required of his officeAs I listened to our commander-in-chief, I couldn’t help but compare him to the cartoon character Yosemite Sam. All he does is rant and rave at what a great leader he is. He now thinks he could do a better job with our troops than their commanders.  Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrash along I-890 a bad first impressionI cannot wonder what people may think of the revitalized Schenectady if they are traveling on the I-890 corridor into the city. The amount of items dumped on the banks on either side is an eyesore to behold. It’s embarrassing. Property owners or landlords should be held responsible for the cleanup. Anyone caught dumping there should be charged and have it followed through upon. First impressions of visitors to our area are usually the lasting ones.Jack HamScotiacenter_img Act on good ideas for saving the planetWise and smart engineer Gary Lessard in his Dec. 22 letter recommends not poisoning our planet (wise) and simply living renewably, cutting fossil foolish waste. Fifteen-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, on strike in front of her parliament, represents wise and smart youth leading the way now to a simple, necessary, sane future because the corporate politicians in charge (adults?) are acting like children.Too bad she doesn’t get a mention in the mainstream media. Her plan to cut our excess consumption and waste by 15 percent a year over the next 10 years is both doable and joyful. If we all care and act each day on that path, “complex life on Earth might not die” (“A Planet Called Home”-Holly Near). Let’s give it a try.Peter LookerGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Southampton offices

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Call for reform leaves valuers at a crossroads

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Sunny time for Solar

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E-commerce sends demand for high-bay sheds through roof

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Woking, Weybridge & Camberley offices: West Surrey flurry

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How the land lies

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Great leap Forward

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