Monday, August 29, 2011

After Irene

Yesterday, what was left of Hurricane Irene swept through Upstate New York with heavy wind and rain. I live on high ground near the Center Square of Albany and got through the storm with no problems. The lights flickered once or twice, but the power stayed on and so did the internet. I spent most of the day following the storm on Twitter and Facebook.

Today, the sunny is shining and the air is so fresh. You almost wouldn't know a storm had passed...but don't let that fool you. There are major problems today. There's massive flooding to the south and west of Albany. Areas like the Schoharie Valley, Montgomery County, Scotia, and the Stockade in Schenectady are especially impacted as the Schoharie Creek and Mohawk Rivers rise.

Around noon, I went down to the Corning Preserve along the Hudson River. With hours to go before the Mohawk River crests and still more before the Hudson crests, the water was already the highest I've ever seen. The path leading north towards the boat launch was completely submerged and water was already spilling over the retaining wall at the amphitheater.

Walking south along the Preserve, I saw tiny (but swift) whirlpools near the OGS pump station. Further down, the water had flooded the road near the pedestrian ramp to the Dunn Memorial Bridge and was rising beneath the underpass leading out to Broadway. You could see water bubbling up through grates and even through little fissures in the pavement.

Just ten minutes or so after the photo above was taken, the water was already starting to edge across the compass inlaid in the pavement. Debris was also seen rushing down the river, including pieces of docks with boats still secured.

I've posted an album of photos on Facebook. The album is set to public and can be viewed here.

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