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What you need to know for 01/21/2017

Flood watch in effect for Capital Region and beyond

Flood watch in effect for Capital Region and beyond

A flood watch is in effect for the entire Capital Region and beyond as the National Weather Service

A flood watch is in effect for the entire Capital Region and beyond as the National Weather Service predicts heavy rainfall to begin later in the day.

NWS Albany Forecast Office meteorologist Ian Lee said major rainfall is expected to begin at roughly 5 p.m. this evening, but there's a possibility of sudden storms throughout the day.

Lee said a main shield of rain was hitting western New York, near Buffalo, just after noon.

Showers and thunderstorms are active in Ulster and Columbia counties as a warm front lifts northward ahead of a low pressure system that's expected to bring in the bulk of rain.

Lee said a Flood Watch means the amount of rainfall that's forecast, if it materializes, is significant enough to impact the main stem of rivers.

"We're monitoring the Mohawk River very closely," Lee said.

The rainfall will likely stymie the NYS Canal Corp.'s plans to re-open portions of the Erie Canal, situated on the Mohawk River. The canal from Locks E8 to E15 was shut down roughly two weeks ago following damage to movable dams from the force of the river and from debris.

Damage repairs were complete to the point where a Canal Corp. official projected a Friday opening, but weather forecats could lead to all the movable dams being opened to winter position to allow for the flow of water.

The flood watch is in effect through 6 p.m. Friday.

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