FEMA announces canal cleanup grants
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced grants worth more than $8 million for the state's Canal Corp. to pay for the removal of debris left behind by flooding last summer.
The funding covers 75 percent of the costs associated with removing sediment between Erie Canal locks 8 and 22 and Champlain Canal locks 2 and 12 and dredge debris and remove sediment between Erie Canal locks 6 and 20. The work has already been completed.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement that he was extremely pleased that FEMA had approved this funding.
“Tropical Storm Irene quickly followed by Tropical Storm Lee dealt a one-two punch to canal," he said. "The damage in the Capital Region and along the Erie Canal was expansive and severe, and it’s the federal government’s job to help get things back on track. When I visited Amsterdam shortly following the September storms, I pushed for additional FEMA disaster assistance to help the Capital Region rebuild, and this $8.2 million investment for the New York State Canal Corp. will help do just that.”
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said help is still needed for the region, as much of the damage is still there.
“This funding will help our effort to clean up and rebuild waterways so families and businesses in the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley can continue to recover and get back on their feet," she said in a statement.
Tropical Storm Lee produced heavy rains that took down trees and limbs, and sent debris and other waste into the state canal system. According to a news release from Schumer and Gillibrand, $2,605,157 from FEMA [was] used to dredge and remove sediment from waterways upstream and downstream of the locks of the canal in Schenectady County. Another $5,579,794 from FEMA [was] used to dredge and remove debris from the waterway between Erie Canal locks 6 and 20, stretching from parts of the Capital Region into the Mohawk Valley.
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