The Week In Review-The Weekend Ahead

Earthquake & Treacherous Weather – Ice Ships for the Eagles, Beet Juice and Beer for the Roads?

Earthquake at 2.2 Starts This Season’s Most Severe Storm Day Followed By Treacherous Traveling –  Ice Ships for the Eagles, Beet Juice and Beer for the Roads?
By Edie Johnson

It was “THAT” kind of week, with temperature swings creating ice coatings on simply everything! Wednesday’s snow, rain and ice storm was a traveler’s nightmare, but some, like this sailor who we have dubbed “Captain Morgan” and some other eagles were having a grand time sailing along the Hudson River on their Ice Ships. Local river enthusiasts brought treats and social media filled with dozens of ‘gathering of eagles’ photos, this one by photographer Scott Cavalari.

But roads were treacherous, despite round-the-clock efforts by highway departments who have been weighing the balance of alternative road treatments that make travel safe for those who must get to work as well as emergency responders. Most stayed home, and schools throughout Orange County were closed on Wednesday, some having “late start” schedules on Thursday as well. A bout 3 to 6 inches of snow and then rain turned back to a thick coating of ice during Wednesday evening hours. Some residents along the Hudson River corridor, including Cornwall, West Point and Goshen began their day with residents awakening around 6:14 am to a “Boom” and rattling china from a 2.2 earthquake in the area of  Mohegan Lake.

Beet Juice Or Beer & Pickling Brine For Roads?

Highway departments received high praise this week for their efforts keeping local roads safe for those who absolutely needed to travel. But in the long term, cities and towns across America are becoming increasingly concerned about toxic runoff. In Orange County, the legislature and numerous towns passed resolutions several years ago to guard against the purchase of cheap brine which was coming onto the market from fracking operations in Pennsylvania and north. Some companies found it expedient to dispose of their frack waste as part of brine products. The concern was that the waste could travel into streams, and rivers, and enter groundwater supplies. More recently there has also been concern that rivers and streams are showing increasing sodium chloride/rock salt concentrations as a result of winter road treatment.

Road departments are therefore researching more and more environmentally friendly alternatives, and two of the more recent alternatives suggested are residual beet juice and liquid remaining from processing beer, and even molasses.
As scientists learn more about how these kinds of treatment products may disturb the sensitive overall biological health of our waterways, they will likely find better ways to keep both our roadways and our waterways safe.

Caption:  Captain Morgan Sailing Down the Hudson (Photo by Scott Cavalari)

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