High winds and flooding has forced the closure of the entire New York State Canal system.
Guard gates and lift bridges statewide will be maintained in a lowered position until further notice. The change is to prevent structural damage from forecast high winds associated with Hurricane Sandy, state officials said this afternoon.
Canal Corporation workers began lowering water levels in many sections of the canal system on last week in anticipation of the storm. They warned that water levels throughout the system may still change with little advance notice as the storm progresses.
Though no significant flooding is expected in the Capital Region, storm surges from the hurricane have reached as far as Columbia County, said Joe Villani, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany. He said heavy rain associated with the storm could hit the Catskills this evening, but the precipitation isn't expected to cause any significant issues for areas along the Schoharie Valley and Mohawk River.