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B'ville: High water prolongs canal opening

Due to high water caused by runoff and heavy rain, the New York State Canal System will remain closed until further notice. It had been scheduled to open at 7 a.m. Tuesday, according to New York State Canal Corp. officials. It will remain closed temporarily until high water recedes, which is expected to take several days.

Canal Corporation Carmello Mantello said a late season nor'easter and additional recent rainfall, coupled with increased snowmelt from recent warm weather, left the rivers and lakes overflowing, swelling the canal system to flood stage. Flooding was reported in the Mohawk Valley and along the Seneca and Oswego rivers.

Until water levels recede, operations to place water control structures in position and set buoys and other navigational aids cannot commence, Mantello said. Once water levels return to normal, it will take about a week to prepare the canal for boaters, weather permitting, she said.

Mariners are advised that high water levels in central New York may persist longer than on other portions of the canal system, delaying this preparatory work even further.

Mariners can monitor the situation by calling 1-800-4CANAL4 or check nyscanals.gov for updates and information. Additionally, mariners may sign up for automatic e-mail and text message alerts through the new Canal TRANSalert service. This service is offered to notify mariners of major incidents and emergencies that may affect navigation on the New York State Canal System. To register for this service, go to nyscanals.gov.

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