Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Erie Canal to open for two weeks.
The Erie Canal will reopen to commercial and recreational traffic for a two-week navigation period starting Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24 and will close on Dec. 8 to allow vessels caught in the system by Hurricane Irene and subsequent flooding, to reach their destinations. Parts of the canal have been closed since major flooding overwhelmed locks between Fort Plain and Schenectady. Steel uprights that hold dam gates in place were twisted and displaced, and lock and power houses were swept away in the flooding. Machinery used to operate the locks and dams were flooded and, at three locations, flood waters carved new channels for the Mohawk River around the lock and dam structures. In addition to lock and dam repairs, the canal will also be dredged where fill deposited during the flooding has blocked the river. Gov. Cuomo has requested that Canada extend the season for the Chambly Canal which connects Canada to Lake Champlain. Normally the Chambly Canal season would end Oct. 10. For more information, visit www.canals.ny.gov.