THURMAN -- A glacier broke free in the upper Hudson River on Friday, damming the river to the south and covering at least one local road with several feet of ice.
The massive ice chunks, up to 10 feet thick in some spots, apparently broke off near North Creek after several unseasonably warm days, officials said.
The chunks then became lodged in Warrensburg and Thurman, causing the water behind them to jump the banks.
More than 100 yards of River Road in Thurman were left under 3 feet of ice pack Friday afternoon. The town thoroughfare was under water Friday morning, according to Supervisor Evelyn Wood, but the water receded by midday, leaving the ice pack in its wake.
Town highway crews armed with loaders and backhoes are expected to dig out River Road on Monday, officials said.
“That’s really all we can do,” said Jeff Ackley, Thurman’s deputy highway superintendent.
The road is closed in the vicinity of the popular summer swimming hole at Snake Rock.
Snake Rock is surrounded by state land, meaning no one was trapped by the sudden flow of ice and water, though one motorist was briefly stuck in the drift and had to be freed by local highway crews.
The jammed-up ice backed up water farther downstream in Warrensburg, flooding a trout pond at the Warren County Fish Hatchery.
“It’s surging,” said Warren County Parks and Recreation Director Paul Butler.
Butler said the hatchery “got lucky” as the water began to recede Friday afternoon, because none of the Volkswagen-sized chunks ripped through the ponds.
The flooded pond is home to 1,350 2-year-old trout, tagged for fishing derbies in Crandall Park in Glens Falls and in Horicon, Butler said.
The water kept hatchery staff from surveying the fish, but Butler said the 8-degree difference between the pond water and the colder river water shouldn’t be enough to kill most of the Rainbow trout.
Saratoga & North Creek Railway crews surveyed Warren County’s train tracks along River Road on Friday afternoon.
Railroad crew members said the tracks were unscathed when the ice and water jumped the Hudson’s banks. The railroad’s Snow Train between Saratoga Springs and North Creek operates Friday though Sunday.
It appears the ice jam won’t affect train operations, Butler said.