Bitter cold temps last week and temps approaching 60 over the next couple days is expected to lead to flooding in some areas. Rain is also expected Thursday into Friday, which has the National Weather Service issuing a Flood Watch for the Capital Region and parts of Vermont until 7pm Friday (2/18).

The New York State Canal Corporation and the New York Power Authority are sending a tugboat out onto the Mohawk River to try and chop up some parts that have frozen over. The objective is to open a path along the river where water and ice can flow freely, reducing the risk of ice jams and flooding.

NewsChannel 13
NewsChannel 13
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The area under the most concern is a 3 mile stretch between Lock 7 and Lock 8, which includes Schenectady's Stockade Neighborhood, notorious for having issues with flooding. Union College Geologist John Garver told NewsChannel 13 another area of concern is where Schenectady County meets Saratoga County at Rexford:

They [ice jams] cause what we call backup flooding and that backup flooding can cause 5, 10, 15 even 20 feet of difference between the upstream and downstream.

NewsChannel 13
NewsChannel 13
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Adding to the problem is anticipated rain Thursday into Friday. Of course all that rain, surface runoff and melting snow will make its way into streams, creeks and eventually the river.

This problem happens just about every year, so people in the areas most prone are used to it - however with the tugboat breaking up the ice, officials are hoping for a less dramatic rise in water levels.

In 2019 Ice Jams Caused Boats to Break Free in the Hudson River [PHOTOS]

This is one of those famous moments in Capital Region history where you probably remember where you were when it happened. On the morning of Friday, January 25, 2019 at least six boats broke free in the in the Hudson River between Troy and Albany. Since it was January, all the boats were unmanned at the time, so they were at the mercy of the river current and the ice.

There had been some strange weather developing over the previous few days and ice jams formed enough to wreak havoc on the Hudson River from Troy to Albany. Several boats became dislodged starting in Troy, eventually moving down the river where many hit the Livingston Avenue bridge, which carries trains over the Hudson between Albany and Rensselaer.

One of the boats that broke free that morning was the Captain JP Cruise ship, a four level vessel and popular summer party spot. It hit the bridge and was lodged there for quite a while as crews worked to free it. There was some damage, but it was able to be repaired in time for summer.

At least six other boats were pushed down the river including the Rusty Anchor Restaurant as well as some barges and tugboats.

Several bridges were closed due to safety concerns, including the Patroon Island Bridge, which carries I-90 over the Hudson connecting Albany and Rensselaer Counties. Rescue crews with tugboats were on the scene quickly from the port of Albany to stop the runaway boats.