Schenectady leaders say Mohawk ice jam worst they've seen

Ice Jams along the Mohawk River.jpg

SCHENECTADY (WRGB) - The State Office of Emergency Services says the ice jam on the Mohawk River is nearly 17 miles long.

Michael Gillespie, the Schenectady Assistant Fire Chief, says it's the worst he's seen in his 31 years in the area.

This week's warming temperatures and a chance for rain could make the ice jam worse and could lead to flooding.

Officials say right now, they're monitoring about 50 ice jams across the state -- but the Mohawk River, between Schenectady and Albany counties, is at the top of the list.

Crews say it's a "wait and see" situation, but crews are prepared for the worst.

At the state level, the Office of Emergency Management is identifying staging areas in locations prone to flooding, like in the Stockade. They're deploying sandbags and sandbaggers to Schenectady and Albany County, as well as other types of equipment.

At the local level, the Schenectady Assistant Fire Chief says their crews have been doing door knocks to check on residents and collect information about the elderly, disabled, and pets.

Gillespie warns people to be prepared ahead of time. "People can take videos of things inside their home, should there be potential damage, talk with their insurance company in advance, what coverage do they have? Do they have flood insurance? Do they not? What's their evacuation plan?"

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