For Immediate Release: 10/27/17

ALBANY--The New York State Canal Corporation today announced that with weather forecasts calling for heavy rainfall and possible widespread flooding this weekend, it will fully open movable dams in the Erie Canal between Lock E-8 in Scotia and Lock E-18 in Herkimer. "We will open the movable dams to return this section of the river to its natural state, helping to mitigate impacts related to flooding," said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. "Safety is our top priority and taking these proactive measures is the right thing to do."

The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy rainfall with the potential for flooding in the affected area from Sunday into Monday morning.

Opening both the upper and lower gates of the moveable dams allow for water to flow downstream without being blocked or diverted by any potential debris. The Canal Corporation began lowering water levels on the Mohawk River portion of the Erie Canal between Lock E-8 and Lock E-15 in Fort Plain this afternoon.

A Notice to Mariners was issued Thursday to alert “pool users” or late commercial operators still located on the Canal System that these measures are being taken. The recreational boating season ended Oct. 11.

Residents and businesses with dock permits along the affected area have been contacted.

The Canal Corporation is closely monitoring the forecast, coordinating closely with the National Weather Service and State and local Emergency Management personnel, and managing water levels throughout potentially impacted areas to mitigate flooding-related impacts to the extent possible.

About the New York State Canal Corporation

The Canal Corporation runs the New York State Canal System, which includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals. Spanning 524 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. In 2017, the Canal Corporation celebrated the 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Erie Canal, which occurred in the city of Rome on July 4, 1817. The Canal System includes the Erie Canalway Trail, a multi-use trail designed to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers. Together, the canals and trail create a world-class recreationway that is a vibrant, scenic and unique New York resource.

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Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192