Potential for ice jams brings fear of flooding to Schenectady’s Stockade neighborhood

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Warm weather is on its way, but rain is also expected, which could create dangerous flooding conditions for an historic Schenectady neighborhood.

With the right weather elements, ice jamming could cause serious damage to the homes along the Mohawk River.

Joseph O’Donnell and his wife Margaret have called the Stockade neighborhood home for almost 30 years ago. It wasn’t too long ago they almost lost everything.

“It’s scary,” Joseph said. “We’re sitting here watching the river come up.”

A major rain storm poured buckets of water. They hoped they could ride it out like they had for other close calls.

“The police came and said you have to leave,” Joseph recalled.

They left for the night. When they returned the next morning, the first floor was completely destroyed.

“When the water came in, everything went this way,” Margaret described. “When the water came out everything went that way.”

“Everything in the kitchen was in the dining room,” she continued. “ Everything in the dining room was in the kitchen.”

The O’Donnells were able to rebuild, but the threat of future flooding still lingers.

Now comes the fear of ice jamming. Essentially, the warm weather could break up the ice and that ice would then act as a dam. With heavy rain after that, the water could flood into the neighborhood.

“It was pretty crazy when the water was coming up,” Erich Bachmeyer said.

Bachmeyer lives one street over. He said it comes with the territory of living in the Stockade. The O’Donnells agree.

“I mean, could it happen again? Sure. Do I worry about it? No, because I have no control over it,” Margaret said. “If it happens, it happens, and then we take care of it.”

Many neighbors said they have already made or plan to make modifications to their homes that could help with future flooding.

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