For the society at the time the only explanation for the advancing glacier was the wrongdoings of witches and sorcerers. In 1678, again after a catastrophic outburst, the local Thoman Jöchl was imprisoned, incriminated for bewitching the weather and executed August 8, 1680.
Between 1771 and 1772 again a lake started to form and the authorities summarized in a report the possible actions to prevent a disaster:
“The only counter measurements are the construction of a canal along the side of the valley, but also praying…“
It didn’t help much; chronicles reported further catastrophic floods in 1845 and 1848.
The NYT article relies on a very few people from the usual small circle of folks cited in such articles to say the usual suggestive things - Ben Santer, Jeff Masters, Peter Stott. Not one researcher is cited who actually publishes peer-reviewed work on tornadoes, economic impacts of disasters, or the long-term history of US weather extremes. However, somehow Congressional Republicans show up as the bad guys in the usual good guys-bad guys framing on this topic. No budget numbers are presented nor any specific discussion of what is going on in NOAA. Ink blot.
NCAR had a different idea at the time.