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Mohawk River Ice Jam Monitoring

The Mohawk River between New York State Barge Canal Locks 7 and 8 near Schenectady, NY is susceptible to ice jams during periods of river-ice break-up. Ice jams in this reach typically form at channel constrictions, bridge piers, lock and dam structures, and sections with a reduced floodplain (Foster and others, 2011). Ice jam related flooding can result from backwater associated with the jam or from water released downstream when a jam fails. Schenectady is particularly vulnerable to ice jam related flooding; Lederer and Garver (2001) estimated that 80% of historic Mohawk River floods in Schenectady have been associated with winter snowmelt and associated ice floes.

In cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Mohawk River Basin Program, the New York State Power Authority, Brookfield Renewable Power, and Union College, USGS is monitoring river elevation at four streamgages between Locks 7 and 8. A web camera installed at a fifth location, between the gages, in the Stockade District of Schenectady, provides real-time images of the river during winter months.

A clickable map with the monitoring locations identified (as dots) is displayed at right. USGS streamgages (orange dots) with links to station information are listed below:

01354330 - Mohawk River at Lock 8 near Schenectady
01354500 - Mohawk River at Freeman's Bridge at Schenectady
01355475 - Mohawk River at Rexford
01356000 - Mohawk River at Vischer's Ferry Dam


View larger map

Updates

 

  • May 4 - The web cam has been turned off for the season and will go back online December 1, 2015

River Conditions - All times shown are EASTERN STANDARD

What are these plots Explanation
These plots depict the difference in water elevation between what we observe and what we predict at a gage. Predictions are based on ice-free conditions, so when there is no ice in the river to restrict flow, the values are about zero. When the values rise during winter months, this usually indicates that ice in the river between the gages is restricting streamflow and causing water to backup. A positive value can be thought of as extra water stored in the river due to ice.

It is important to keep in mind that these plots generally reflect conditions between the gages. Ice jams occuring outside of the river-reach indicated (eg. Lock 8 - Freeman's Bridge) may not be reflected in the values shown.

below the red bars showing?

Lock 8 - Freeman's Bridge

USGS Water-data graph for site 01354330

Subscribe here for WaterAlert updates for data shown in this graph.

Freeman's Bridge - Rexford

USGS Water-data graph for site 01354500


Subscribe here for WaterAlert updates for data shown in this graph.

Stockade Web Cam


Camera Instructions Camera Instructions: You can take temporary control of the camera by clicking "Control Now" in the bottom right corner, then selecting one of the preset views. There may be a delay of a few seconds between selecting the view and the camera moving. You can use the buttons at the bottom right to take a snapshot or view the image in fullscreen.

Image Archive - Time-lapse images from the camera are available.

Rexford - Vischer's Ferry Dam


USGS Water-data graph for site 01355475
Subscribe here for WaterAlert updates for data shown in this graph.

River Elevation - All times shown are EASTERN STANDARD

Add 200 feet to the gage heights shown below to convert to feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 (NGVD29). Data shown are PROVISIONAL and subject to revision.

PLEASE NOTE - NGVD29 is NOT the same as the New York State Barge Canal Datum. To approximate the NYS Barge Canal elevation add 201 feet to the values shown

Mohawk River at Lock 8 near Schenectady

USGS Water-data graph for site 01354330

Mohawk River at Freeman's Bridge at Schenectady

USGS Water-data graph for site 01354500

Mohawk River at Rexford

USGS Water-data graph for site 01355475

Mohawk River at Vischer's Ferry Dam

USGS Water-data graph for site 01356000

Emergency and Flood Information

For More Information

Contact:
Gary Wall
USGS New York Water Science Center
425 Jordan Rd.
Troy, NY 12180
518-285-5621

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URL: http://ny.water.usgs.gov/flood/MohawkIce/index.html
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Page Last Modified: Tuesday, 12-May-2015 11:07:53 EDT