Not a river of chocolate. Or an omen. Probably.

cohoes falls 2011-09-03 brown

The Cohoes Falls this past Saturday.

From a post on NYT's City Room Wednesday:

Have any New Yorkers noticed, over the past couple days, that the Hudson River -- at least parts of it -- seems to have turned red? ...
John Lipscombe, director of the water quality program for the conservation group Riverkeeper, said the reddish color came from suspended sediment from upstate rivers. Mr. Lipscombe said he watched several rivers wash into the Hudson the day after the storm hit. "They were torrents, and they were red," he said.
He added: "The reddish clay is part of the geology of the Catskill area, and when that kind of rain causes a scouring of the river banks, an enormous amount of red clay and other dirt washes into the Hudson. This has happened before but it was pretty dramatic this time."

This past weekend the Cohoes Falls (above) looked like they were running with chocolate (the smell was something rather less appetizing, along the lines of dead fish and backed-up sewer). And when we were in Windham a few days after Irene, the Batavia Kill was running a deep red/brown -- the mud left behind had turned into a reddish dust that stuck to seemingly everything.

This has apparently been an issue of concern for New Yorkers. Twitter is full of people remarking on the color. Speculation: the Hudson has an STD, Irene took a dump in the river, possible apocalypse.

Update: A video clip from shortly after Irene...

Here's video shot by Timothy at the Cohoes Falls the day after Irene. The color is very apparent.


Post-Irene, the Hudson River around Albany looked purple/red/brown to me. Since we're upstream of the Catskills, I wonder where the "clay" came from? (I probably don't want to know.)

The falls are roaring today – Check out the web cam:

@Ethan: Some of those streams/creeks in the Catskills drain (eventually) north into the Mohawk. The Batavia Kill drains into the Schoharie Creek, which eventually makes its way into the Mohawk. (I think It's kind of counterintuitive because we normally think of rivers draining "down," that is south -- down -- on a map.)

Check out the color of the Mohawk River here contrasted against the blue sky, a week ago Monday, the 29th.
Cohoes Falls Aug 29, 2011 - After Hurricane Irene

I've seen the spring melt-off flow yearly, but never this much volume before.

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