Rain forces canal closure

The New York State Canal Corp. has temporarily closed a section of the Erie Canal in Montgomery County because of heavy rain over the past few days.

The agency closed a section from Lock E-6 in Crescent, which is near Cohoes in Albany County, and E-19 in Frankfurt, which is near Ilion in Herkimer County.

According to canal spokesman Shane Mahar, the canal will open as soon as it is safe for travel.

“It all depends on Mother Nature,” Mahar said.

Mahar said the agency ordered the closure Tuesday morning. He said water was flowing quickly and at a high level.

Mahar said the water levels for Fonda and Amsterdam were around normal this morning, but Canajoharie’s water level was 4 feet higher than normal.

Between 12 and 15 boats were tied up at a dock at Lock E-2 at Waterford on Tuesday. Mahar said once the water level stabilizes and the canal becomes safe, the lock will open.

He said he has not heard of any major flooding along the closed section of the canal.

Closing sections of the Erie Canal is common as a result of weather, Mahar said.

Meanwhile, a 1-mile section of the Canalway Trail in the town of Greece has been temporarily closed until Thursday afternoon for embankment repairs. The repair work will not affect boat traffic, according to a Canal Corp. news release.

The state canal system is composed of four waterways, the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals. It spans 524 miles across the state. The Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use trail for pedestrians and bicyclists.