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Schenectady County works to keep flooding along Mohawk at bay

December 05, 2018 06:50 PM

Schenectady County is looking at new ways to get a better handle on flooding along the Mohawk River. The Schenectady County Legislature is poised to approve funding for new ways to monitor water levels.

Last year, there was a lot of concern about a major ice jam near Lock 7, prompting officials to take action. The ice jam extended about 17 miles from here -- all the way to Amsterdam.

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Now, they hope to add some special cameras and gauges to monitor the rising water levels -- hoping to be better prepared if the coming winters see similar conditions.

An ice jam in January and February pushed up onto the shores of the Mohawk, causing some minor flooding in the Stockade section of Schenectady and other locations along the river as it broke up.

The Schenectady County Legislature plans on using a little more than $75,000 in state Homeland Security grant money to install cameras to watch Locks 7 and 9 as well as put a new gauge near Lock 9, which is in Rotterdam.

County officials say the new equipment will allow them to monitor the river in real time -- and give them the ability to alert residents and businesses when they think water flow and level can become a problem.

The Schenectady County Legislature's Public Safety and Firefighting Committee unanimously approved the plan earlier this week.

The full legislature still has to vote on this. That will happen next Tuesday, but officials NewsChannel 13 spoke with on the phone Wednesday say they believe this will get the green light.

A few people say it's a start, but they are wondering if more can be done to control the water levels. They say a warning that a flood is coming doesn't do anything to protect their properties.

NewsChannel 13 tried to get someone from the county to talk to us about these plans and others that might be in the works, but they did not return our request for an interview.

Credits

Jacquie Slater

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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