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Canal system gates up, Mohawk flowing freely

Monday, October 29, 2012
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Gates and uprights are raised to their winter position at Lock 8 on the canal system between Glenville and Rotterdam in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.
Gates and uprights are raised to their winter position at Lock 8 on the canal system between Glenville and Rotterdam in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.

— Water is flowing freely on the Mohawk River this morning in the wake of state officials’ efforts to draw down water from reservoirs on the Schoharie Creek and along the Mohawk to accommodate any flood surge.

In past floods, tons of debris has pounded onto the gates of the Erie Canal dams. As a result, the canal system has been eyed as restricting the flow of water through the Mohawk Valley because the movable dams that create reservoirs along the Mohawk River for navigation often clog with debris, backing up the flow and causing major damage around the dams themselves.

In preparation of Hurricane Sandy, authorities started lifting the canal-system gates late last week.

The Canal Corp. on Thursday issued a notice to mariners through the TransAlert system notifying them the canal system was being lowered to levels just high enough for navigation, and lower than necessary for navigation of the entire length through Montgomery County.

Storm sites

The latest news from the National Weather Service for the Capital Region can be found HERE.

A continuous live feed from New York City, which will be hit first in the state by Hurricane Sandy, is being hosted at the Capital Region Scene.

An emergency declaration has been issued in the city of Schenectady, until Wednesday.

National Grid has issued a series of tips for customers who may experience a power outage.

Drawdown continued Friday and the Canal Corp. issued another notice informing boaters the Erie Canal from Lock E-8 in Glenville to Lock E-17 in Little Falls will be shut down at 7 a.m. today.

“Water levels in this section will begin to be lowered, at that time, to approximately 3 to 5 feet below minimum navigation levels. Any vessels remaining in this section which are able to navigate at reduced water levels, will be allowed to transit to safe harbor. Additional closures are possible depending on the storm track,” the notice states.

 
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