HRBRRD Continues to Provide Important Public Health, Safety Benefits Throughout Year
Most people are aware that the HRBRRD provides significant flood protection annually in the spring, but did you know that the important flood protection benefits provided by our operations can come into play any time of the year? Well it's absolutely the case - as illustrated just over the last few days.
A combination of heavy rain and snow melt just before Christmas left streams and mainstream rivers swollen throughout the region. In the Hudson River area, storage provided through operation of the Great Sacandaga Lake prevented the Hudson River from reaching flood stage in Fort Edward (Washington County) and from reaching moderate flood stage in downstream communities like Lansingburgh (Rensselaer County), Waterford (Saratoga County), Cohoes & Green Island (Albany County).
In Fort Edward, the Hudson River reached action stage, peaking at 25.12 feet (just below minor flood stage) - as opposed to a likely peak of 33 feet, more than 8 feet higher, which would have been 4 feet above major flood stage and likely would have resulted in considerable damage, without the benefits of the flood protection provided by HRBRRD.
In the downstream communities of Lansingburgh, Waterford, Cohoes & Green Island, the river reached minor flood stage, peaking at 22.8 feet (minor flood stage) - as opposed to a likely peak elevation of 24.2 feet (moderate flood stage), had the Great Sacandaga Lake not provided the downstream flood protection benefits for which it was constructed 90 years ago. An additional approximate foot and a half of inundation in these communities would have proved challenging for residents and emergency responders alike, especially during the Christmas holiday.
Whether its flood protection - or the flow augmentation benefits which proved so vital throughout the abnormally dry 2020 season - the HRBRRD continues to provide important public health and safety, ecological, recreational and economic benefits throughout the year!