More flooding along St. Clair River threatens homes, roads

Erika Holt
January 13, 2018

Ice jams are much more hard to predict than typical river flooding, because they can happen anywhere with little to no warning.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for areas along the St. Clair River that will be in effect until 8 a.m. Monday.

"While the highest rainfall amounts are now expected to occur just offshore, this may change over the next few days", the NWS email blast said. Freezing rain, which will transition into snow, is expected through the weekend, causing hazardous driving conditions, especially on untreated surfaces with isolated to scattered power outages possible. The river is expected to rise about the 19-foot flooding threshold Friday afternoon and peak at about 20.9 feet Friday evening. "Temperatures will rapidly fall from the 50s and into the 20s by Saturday afternoon, resulting in a flash freeze".

The Flood Warning Center opened at 3:45 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, when the Tolt River reached a Phase 2 flood alert level, creating the potential for minor flooding in low-lying areas along the river upstream of Carnation.

The National Weather Service is advising motorists to exercise caution and urn around if they encounter flooded roadways as most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Amanda Van Allen
Amanda Van Allen

"The weather service is saying we could get up to three inches of rain".

"People should expect travel conditions to range from poor to extremely hard from Saturday to Saturday night in the storm's wake", according to AccuWeather's senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

The Glens Falls region should see two to five inches of snow by early Saturday as well as freezing rain as temperatures stay warmer than areas to the north.

Snowmelt or rain on top of snow can occur, along with the breakup of a jam, and increase the level of flooding.

In addition, Winter Storm Hunter is spreading snow, sleet, ice and rain into the East. The low will only be around 10. "However, the combination of the ice buildup and moderate sleet and snow accumulations will create unsafe conditions".

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