Canal closings continue

Even though floodwaters have receded in the weeks since torrential rains inundated upstate New York, repairs of damage caused by flooding will continue for weeks. The Erie Canal is no exception.

Portions of the Erie Canal, from Rotterdam Junction to Fort Plain, remain closed and canal officials said that stretch of the waterway is not expected to reopen for weeks.

The severity of the recent flooding and its impact on the canal system has been unprece-dented, but we understand how important the canal is to the businesses and communities that line its shores and we are continuing to work around the clock to reopen the remaining section of the Erie Canal as quickly as possible, Canal Corporation Director Carmela Mantello said.

In addition to the portion of the canal between Rotterdam Junction and Fort Plain that is expected to take up to three weeks to reopen, Mantello said that damage to Lock 10 in Cranesville was so severe that the Montgomery County lock will probably be closed for eight weeks.

Canal crews are coordinating with federal, state, and local agencies through the state's Emergency Management Office to recover from the flood damage.

Boaters are urged to travel with caution and be aware of reduced bridge height clearances and floating debris.

"The public is advised to continue to exercise considerable caution with regard to recreation in waters that have been affected by the recent heavy flooding," Mantello said. "Concerns include high flows, debris, diminished water clarity and elevated bacteria levels."

Further updates and information are available by calling (800)-4CANAL4 or visiting the Web site: www.canals.state.ny.us.""

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