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Upcounty flooding, ice jam threat persist

UPDATE: Sunday 4 p.m. -- Massive chunks of ice are headed down the Hudson River after the ice jam in North Creek broke up at about 2 p.m. today. Residents downstream should be prepared and take caution, although downstream jamming is not very likely, emergency officials monitoring the situation said.

Shortly after the break-up was observed, Golf Course Road in Warrensburg was closed, but it may reopening soon, Warren County Emergency Services Director Brian LaFlure said at 4:02 p.m. as he was standing on the Thurman Ztation Bridge waiting for the mass of ice to arrive.

NORTH CREEK - Flood waters are rising rapidly in the Hudson River, and Warren County emergency response officials are continuing to monitor the ice jam in North Creek so residents downstream can be warned if the frozen mass begins to move their way, county officials said.

As of about 4 p.m., the river-water level near the Rte. 28N bridge in North Creek was 11.73 feet and rising, North Creek Fire Chief Steve Studnicky said. That height is the third highest reading recorded since 1907, he said. The highest level on record is 12.14 feet, he added.

Working on shifts 24 hours per day, North Creek firefighters are monitoring the river and the ice blockage, which could cause devastation if it moves downstream without breaking up first, he said.

Riverside fire officials have notified their area residents of the situation, and emergency officials continue to be on alert, Studnicky said.

"We're still worried about the potential hazards downstream," he said. "A lot of people are monitoring the situation very carefully."

Warren County Emergency Services Coordinator Brian LaFlure said Friday afternoon that state Department of Transportation employees and local town highway workers are also monitoring the ice jam.

Studnicky said National Weather Service officials were predicting that the ice would be moving downstream Friday evening due to warmer temperatures melting the accumulated snow and ice which would boosting existing water flows and flooding.

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