Image 01 Image 03

Crisis averted

Crisis averted

Cascadilla Creek, not far from my home in Ithaca, carries water from one of the main gorges that cuts through campus high above to Cayuga Lake.

But to get there, it travels through my neighborhood.

Normally flooding is not a problem. Except when the creek freezes over and creates ice jams under the bridges, which leaves the water no place to go except sideways.

There has not been flooding in our neighborhood since 1993. It happened in a small way (but not at my house) the past couple of days, as the ice was packed bridge-high. (See featured image.)

Fortunately, they were able to dig out a channel for the water to flow, and here’s what it looks like today.

Ithaca ice bridge dug out 1-12-2014

So for now, crisis averted.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.



Who’s “they”? I think it’s a good idea to recognize public service departments when they actually provide a public service.

This California boy has fond memories of a summer spent in the farmlands around Ithica. Every kid should have a summer like that.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Socratease. | January 12, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Don’t know if it was Ithaca City public works or outside contractors they brought in to do the digging. I’d be surprised if the City kept that many extended back hoes in its inventory. But the Fire Department was a major presence, presumably because they had pumping equipment.

Guess you can hold off on the ark building for now. For now…

Must be global warming, er, “climate change”.

PersonFromPorlock | January 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

“High above Cayuga’s waters
There’s an awful smell….” ;^)

Have a similar problem in nearby Ballston Spa, where the thaw has loosed ice chunks that dam up the Karerosseras flow, and send water to ground. The ground water pressure and overflow are now flooding basements.

Bah. Can’t speel. “Kayaderosseras.”

MornignSunshine | January 12, 2014 at 7:21 pm

I love when you post updates from Ithaca. I spent many fond Sundays attending church with my Cornell congregation. I attended Wells College in the 90s, and every time you mention Ithaca, gorges, Cornell, I want to go back and visit.

One of the first things you (should) do when moving to Texas is to check the FEMA flood assessment for the neighborhood you plan to live in. Currently, I live in an area that should it flood out, nearly all of Austin will have preceded me.

I muse at the potential of thousands of liberal rats swimming for higher ground…

    Mannie in reply to GrumpyOne. | January 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

    You should do that everywhere. It’s one of the things FEMA did best (although still not all that well). Use the Infantryman’s maxim: Take the high ground.

I had no idea Ithaca was such a wild & crazy place.

Good thing the Roving Reporter immortalized it all on film (or at least that funny stuff they use nowadays), or I would never have believed it.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

I went to Ithaca once & went to a bar. Don’t remember any gorges.

Those were the days my friend.