Ice jam could close Warren County bridge for weeks

January 15, 2018 06:23 PM

Crews are waiting until the water running over Route 418 recedes before they can get an assessment of what work needs to be done to reopen the road flooded because of a massive ice jam on the Hudson River.

Weeks of cold and days of warmth late last week ended with broken chunks of ice for miles in the Hudson. Not much is changing now that temperatures are back below freezing. Warren County Emergency Services Director Brian LaFlore says the ice is likely lodged almost all the way down to the bed of the river under the Route 418 bridge.

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The water began to flow through a farmer's field and over Route 418 on the Thurman side of the bridge over the weekend. Huge chunks of ice remain in the road as icy water flows over the blacktop.  

LaFlure says the water needs to stops flowing to get an assessment of the damage that has been done to the road.

"We got people looking at the possibilities of trying to break this up, but there's no good way to access the shore where we could bring an excavator and try to break it up get another channel going," said LaFlure.

It could mean detours of a half hour or more for some because of the bridge closure. It might be weeks before it is reopened.

LaFlure says explosives were used in the past to break up a jam, but he is afraid houses elsewhere might be put in danger if his crews or weather loosen the jam too quickly and water hits another jam somewhere else. No homes are in danger from flooding right now.

One elderly couple was evacuated on nearby River Road. There is water over the road on both sides of a stretch of about ten houses. LaFlure and a crew on snowmobile suggested the other families evacuate, he says all said they were going to stay and use snowmobiles or other means to get around. The homes still have electricity and LaFlure hopes they can get at least one side of the road open again soon.

Cronin's golf course in Warrensburg had a drone in the sky to see the river rerouting right onto their course. The video is in the broadcast story above.

Many of the holes and the driving range are under water and thick sheets of ice.

Members there to see the flooding Monday say this has happened before. The course has recovered well, but this time it is the dead of winter.

"It's more of a spring thing, I have seen it before. It's not the first time it's happened, but it's a little more aggressive this year than in years past," said Tim Morrison, who has been a member at Cronin's for the past 25 or so years.

The overflowing frozen Hudson is an amazing sight. Warren County Sheriff's Deputies want to remind you how dangerous it can be.

"I just like to remind folks, you're not going to get through there, so please take an alternate route," said Patrol Lt. Peter DiFiore, Warren County Sheriff's Department.



Asa Stackel

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