This year, it’s rain. In February of 1938, it was the breakup of ice and heavy winter rains that brought devastating floods to the Mohawk Valley. In Amsterdam, an ice jam wrecked the No. 4 plant of Mohawk Carpet Mills Shuttleworth Division and cut off natural gas service to the Rug City. Ice flows and river currents knocked No. 4 off its foundation and caused a partial collapse. Other mill buildings were flooded to a depth of five to six feet, and the division closed, temporarily laying off 1800 people. At Chalmers Knitting Company, waters flooded the basement and put out the fires in the boilers. The entire south side of Amsterdam was under water, in some places to a depth of twelve feet.
“Parts of Fort Johnson, three miles west of Amsterdam, were under from two to three feet of water. State troopers were rerouting traffic from Route 5-S to Route 5. Ice tossed up onto Route 5-S was gradually spreading over the road, the troopers said, menacing homes and service stations.” The Mohawk submerged Route 5 outside little falls and the Davis Creek flooded Fonda.
“Meanwhile, residents in the Riverside Park section of Schenectady boarded up windows and doors after an ice jam roke between schenectady and Scotia, releasing a torrent of water.”