Tribe’s Environment Division Releases Lower St. Regis River Ice Jam Report
Sep 18, 2020
Study Conducted in Cooperation with Clarkson University
AKWESASNE — On September 18, 2020 The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environment Division and its Water Resources Program have completed a study of ice jams in the Lower St. Regis River, led by Environment Division Director Tony David and Water Resources Program Manager Tiernan Smith. The studies have produced a report authored by ice jam experts Dr. Hung Tao Shen and Dr. Fengbin Huang at Clarkson University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Ice jams were evaluated with numerical models under low, moderate, and high river flows. Dr Shen and Dr Huang also tested conditions pre- and post-removal of the Hogansburg Dam. The results show modest benefit with the dam in place during ice breakup at low flows. However, when flows increase this benefit quickly goes away. With moderate and high river flows, such as flows observed in 2018, large ice jams occurred in both pre- and post-dam removal conditions.
The Hogansburg Dam did not provide reliable protection against ice jams, and it masked a vulnerability for flooding that we still need to address,” said Tiernan Smith, Water Resources Program Manager.
The Environment Division is working to improve the Tribe’s flood resilience by developing floodplain policies and management solutions. This study also included the potential for installation and deployment of engineered ice booms, along with modeling their effects on the river system.
“Across the U.S. we are seeing more extreme weather events resulting from climate change,” said Tony David. “We must plan and adapt to these extremes here in Akwesasne,” he added.
The in-depth report studies ice jam flooding events from the late 1800’s through present day and is available to download from the Tribe’s website at www.srmt-nsn.gov. An online presentation is being scheduled and will be announced in the coming weeks using a social meeting platform.
For additional information or questions, please contact the Tribe’s Water Resources Program at (518) 358-5937.