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January Thaw in the Finger Lakes

The first week in January brought bitter cold and wind chill temperatures that I haven’t seen in the Finger Lakes since we moved here fifteen years ago. But like they say; “after the storm comes a calm”, and our calm came with warmer temperatures which melted all of our snow cover but caused some grief for a few of local towns which sit at the edge of the Finger Lakes. As the snow started to melt, the ice which formed in the streams began to move and to pile up, blocking off the flow of the water and causing flooding in the streets and in areas where there the drainage is poor. Fortunately, the snow pack in the Finger Lakes was not very deep – I would guess only about a foot or so.

The harbor at Watkins Glen remained calm and almost deserted but since the air temperature was still around freezing, you can see where Mother Nature formed some of her ice sculptures on the ropes near the harbor. At the height of the storm, one can only imagine how the winds from the north drove the water out of the lake and froze it instantly into an icicle on shore.

The water was roaring down the Chequaga Falls in Montour Falls, NY. It looked peaceful enough from a distance but as one approached the falls, the base of the falls was filled with ice and the water was flowing underneath the ice. The water from the falls makes its way into Catherine Creek and then eventually flows into Seneca Lake. It was here in Montour Falls that we saw evidence of the flood waters as the town crews worked to clear out the ice jams.

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