Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Excerpt from the Gazette last night.

"The locks along the Mohawk River are holding despite raging flood waters, but state officials fear a possible problem with Lock 7 in Niskayuna.

High water is digging a path around some of the locks, particularly Lock 7, Canal Corp. spokesman R. W. Groneman said.

The corporation is bringing in dirt and stone to fight the erosion, he said. The state Power Authority has a small hydroplant at Lock 7 and is organizing the erosion-fighting efforts.

“The Canal Corp. knows of no structural problems with the dam,” he said.

Schenectady County officials were advising residents of about 30 homes near Lock 7 to evacuate earlier this afternoon as the structural integrity of the lock was questioned.

Emergency responders were going door to door in the affected areas, and Schenectady County was utilizing its emergency response system to call residents directly.

Although the lock has not failed, erosion around the lock could lead to a sudden flood. If a sudden event damages the lock, county spokesman Joseph McQueen said, it would happen too quickly to organize an orderly evacuation.

“We wouldn’t have time,” he said. “We don’t want people to be stuck down there, so we’re asking for a voluntary evacuation now.”

While Lock 7 is not in danger, some water is seeping through an earthen embankment at the Vischer Ferry dam behind the lock. The state Power Authority, which maintains the dam as a hydropelectrical plant, called for evacuations of 30 nearby houses as a precaution.

Authority spokeswoman Christine Pritchard said the affected embankment makes up only a small part of the dam."

In summary, there is a problem with Lock 7, but it's not the dam, and it's not the lock. The problem is that the embankment next to the lock is eroding and if it erodes to much the lock will fail, but the lock is not in danger. The embankment is a small part of the dam, but remember, there is nothing wrong with the dam.


Anonymous said...

I think what the Canal Corp doesn't understand is that the entire structure, including the lock, concrete dam, and earthen dam, is the dam. Just because it isn't concrete, doesn't mean that it isn't a dam.

JSmith5780 said...

I can't even imagine the flood impact if the dam or lock or earthen wall (whatever they want to call it) fails. Noah- did they give you a website to monitor on the structural integrity? Is the Canal Corp website updating the situation?