Raquette River flow twice what it was before massive ice melt in St. Lawrence County
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 11:52 am

By CRAIG FREILICH

Water flows in the Raquette River in St. Lawrence County are 50 to 100 percent higher than they were a week ago, following the massive amount of snow melt this past weekend.

The near summer-like weekend temperatures and rain followed a significant snow buildup along the Raquette River and elsewhere in St. Lawrence County.

The flow from releases at the dam on the Raquette near Piercefield in southern St. Lawrence County rose from between 900 and 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Jan. 8 to nearly 1500 cfs on Jan. 15.

The flow was about average last week -- about 980 cfs -- but began to rise last Thursday, first to about 1220 cfs, then to around 1480 cfs by noon Tuesday, as Brookfield Renewable Power released some water.

Those figures are well above the 57-year average of 900 to 1,000 cfs in mid-January.

After Pierecefield, the water runs downstream through several hydroelectric power dams, including several in the town of Colton.

Further downstream at the dam in Raymondville, discharge had been normal for the time of year -- about 1,900 cubic feet per second -- until it began to rise Sunday, Jan. 13, to between 3,500 and 4,500 cubic feet per second, where it has stood for the last couple of days, according to U.S. Geological Survey instruments along the river.

Those discharges depend on releases from upstream and Brookfield’s management of water levels.