Author Topic: Looking for Ideas & Conversation for an Erie Canal Flood Warning System - Blue Alert  (Read 91 times)

Doug K

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Very soon folks living WEST of Rochester will start to understand what safer Erie Canal Embankment Dams look like, as the NYCC Phase 2 work moves through Western Monroe County on their Earthen Embankment Remediation Project (EERP) this Winter. Once we start seeing the REAL size of these Dams, both height & length, the idea that there are 1000s of people LITERALLY living "below the waterline" with no Flood Event Warning System will start to become as important as the EERP work is itself.  After all, most of the opposition to this safety-driven Dam Repair Project kept saying "If it's not Broken don't fix it" and NOW we ALL hopefully have come to learn that statement was FAR from the Truth.

Here are TWO undeniable Facts that are known...all proven with the help of the Erie Canal Neighbors Association (ECNA) and the Group formally known on Facebook as "Stop the Clear Cut" (STCC). Please read along, learn, and it's time to move on...tougher things to solve here and we are wasting time.

FACT 1: YES, Erie Canal Embankments are considered Dams by the job they do, the style of manufacture in 1918, and how it functions when FULL... some are Short, High Earthen Dams, Others are lower & longer Earthen Dams. but kid you not these are ALL dams and need to be cleared no matter what size they are... Dams... End of Story

FACT 2: YES, The Erie Canal Embankment DAMS are BROKEN, and they NEED to be FIXED for PUBLIC SAFETY... yep. End of story...

Time once again for those in the ECNA to look forward and ask the right questions, the harder ones, like "What's Next?"

Please read this idea and PLEASE... start to understand the SAFETY aspects of this project for a moment, because the work is not done yet...

From Lockport to Newark, on the Erie Canal, by water... is about 100 miles. This EERP Canal project started here in OUR area for this very reason of safety, after all, we have a very large population that has moved into Dam Inundation Zones... DIZ.

It's Definition Time
 

Remember, the EERP Canal Phase 1 work had 43 MILES of Earthen Embankment Dams to repair per NY Canal Corp Public Meetings. So folks, do the math..that means 43% almost 1/2 of the Erie Canalway passing through many Western NY Counties has the potential to flood  TENS of ThOUSANDS of people who RIGHT NOW do NOT have any Advanced Flood Alert System in place to warn themselves in the event of an Erie Canal Dam Breach.

Get it? Just a little thing to consider when you think about fighting those trying to FIX the Dam Problem... Thank you NYPA for finally taking care of this Issue
 

Hmm, this really does seems like is something that will need to be remedied, right along with the 100 year old Embankments we see transforming each day. This is a part of the SAFETY issue that was also "invisible" just like the Dams themselves were. There is no doubt this will, AND should become a Topic that has to start being discussed.

So the ECNA is going to start that discussion in THIS board. The question is.. What would the Erie Canal Blue Alert System look like?

There is an Emergency Announcement System called Amber Alert, - for Missing Kids. Most communities like ours, who live under the "threat" of flood do create some similar EAS Alert to alert in the event of a flood. FEMA and their local DEC most likely contribute as much of this is already invented, we just need to adapt it to our situation.. and it should be easier. Read this document---

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1845-25045-7939/fema_p_956_living_with_dams.pdf

Why will our EAS be easier? Why? Well consider that for the MOST part these Dams are only "super full & saturated" in the warm months, April - November. Our Dams get to "relax" a bit in the Winter, Dec - April. We have an 66% duty cycle on our "equipment" for those in Engineering. But the Erie Canal Blue Alert system IS needed for folks living EAST of Rochester where dams are much taller & longer, often viewed looking upward at a 45 to 60 angle from the over-saturated Toe of Slope... ie. the part of the dam that slips and causes a breach. They have lots of water overhead in storage, saturating overgrown Toe Drain Systems FULL TIME. Holley Dam is another area of concern in the Western End, and of course Middleport - Medina have very unique Flood Structures, but the EARTHEN type are largest in Brighton, Pittsford, Perinton/Fairport areas... Solve the problem there and this will work for ALL.

Our Communities will need to figure out how to alert a specific group of folks, and each area along the Erie Canal will be different. If you want the BEST result you always use the WORST CASE SCENARIO to test a system, in this case it would be the LARGER DAMS, which could cause WORST FLOODS. If you walk the Erie Canal a bit you would see MOST larger Erie Canal Dams are on the East Side of Monroe County. So, if we can solve how to alert the Fairport/ Crystal Springs areas, that sit some 50' below the Oxbow Dam for about 900 feet, that would be a good measure of how a Blue Alert EAS would work. Or maybe look at the neighborhoods who are living with this thing called the Great Embankment rising somewhere near them, that is a Dam, the water will flood if it breaks... if you are DIRECTLY downhill of the breach, wouldn't it be nice to get a text alert?

And this is NOT someone else's problem folks, and let's NOT form groups to complain about the fact the Alert System is missing.

Please... Lets use this ECNA Forum Board to discuss how to get the wheels TURNING towards a flood alert solution. If the Erie Canal Dams are here to stay, lets live with them safely, and if they break, let's figure out a way to let everyone we care about know. It's an opportunity to SOLVE a problem, be a part of the solution, and help your community.

What would an Erie Canal Flood Warning System look like? Blue Alert Ideas Wanted.

If you want to post and JOIN the CONVERSATION, you need to signup & join the Erie Canal Neighbors Association Forum. We won't bite,  let your ideas be heard... help make the Neighborhood a safe & happy place to Live. Help solve the answer to the question of how our lives will be changed after the Erie Canal Dams are Repaired... and seems to the ECNA, there is STILL another Safety Issue to solve.

Join the ECNA, Fill out the Form... Be part of the Solution.

Yea,. thought you'd get away without homework... ALL ideas have to meet the REQUIREMENTS that are already there just start educating yourself on LIVING with Dams.

GREAT STARTING PLACE - https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1845-25045-7939/fema_p_956_living_with_dams.pdf
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 07:18:10 am by Michael Caswell »

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Michael Caswell

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