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What you need to know for 01/20/2018

Rain forces Erie Canal closure

Rain forces Erie Canal closure

Rainfall is welcoming the second week of the official hurricane season in the Capital Region by forc
Rain forces Erie Canal closure
Yachts wait out the weather while moored at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam Tuesday morning. The state Canal Corp. shut down the Erie Canal from Lock E-6 to Lock E-19 today due to high water levels in the Mohawk River. More rain is expected this afternoon. (E

Rainfall is welcoming the second week of the official hurricane season in the Capital Region by forcing a shutdown of the Erie Canal from Saratoga County east to Herkimer County.

The system from Lock E-6 in Crescent to Lock E-19 in Frankfort was closed Tuesday due to the high level and excessive current in the Mohawk River.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday morning issued a hazardous weather outlook for counties in and around the Capital Region. By late Tuesday afternoon, the Weather Service issued a flood advisory for Schenectady, Saratoga, Albany and Rensselaer counties. The ground is saturated and rivers and streams are already running high, so further heavy rainfall poses a flood risk.

At a glance

• Keep tabs on nearby creeks and streams by getting emails or texts from the USGS WaterAlert system, which collects data from gauges on local waterways.

• To sign up for text messages or emails to learn when nearby water levels get close to flooding, go to Users are provided a map pinpointing gauges on the Mohawk River or Schoharie Creek.

• Once a gauge is selected, users can choose email or texts and set the parameters for a notification.

The Mohawk River was less than 3 feet below flood stage of 220 feet by 4 p.m. Tuesday at Freemans Bridge Road in Glenville, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service. The system was predicting water levels would drop below 216 feet by early this morning.

National Weather Service meteorologist Ian Lee on Tuesday said Capital Region residents can expect gloomy weather to continue, but rainfall was anticipated to be worse to the south and east of Albany, so the Mohawk River and Schoharie Creek could be spared if the rain falls as predicted.

Additional showers and possibly thunderstorms and downpours Tuesday afternoon were expected to pump more water into the river and streams, but Lee said major flooding wasn’t expected.

The hazardous weather outlook and flood advisories warn of the potential for some minor urban flooding, small-stream flooding or flooding in areas with poor drainage.

Another soaking rain is forecast for Thursday.

Today could bring more gloomy weather. There may be some breaks in the clouds, but Lee said it’s unlikely.

Following heavy rainfall accompanied by tornadoes two weeks ago, the swollen Mohawk River caused damage to flashboards situated atop the Vischer Ferry dam.

The flashboards maintain water levels for navigation between Lock E-7 and Lock E-8, and plans to replace them this week have been called off again, according to an email from New York Power Authority spokeswoman Maura Balaban.

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