Author Topic: Erie Canal Embankment & Trail work is now COMPLETE... see the latest pictures.  (Read 1310 times)

Doug K

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Erie Canal Embankment Integrity Work... One Year Later
« on: September 04, 2020, 02:37:49 pm »
If it hasn't sunk in yet... the Erie Canal is lined with Embankment Dams, 127 miles of them. These earthen dams haven't been seen in many years due to the number of trees covering them. They also haven't been inspected, which should worry those living below them... for miles.

This is what it looked like in 2017, just before the initial clearing.

And since the New York State Canal Corporation, and their parent company New York Power Authority, decided to embark on an Earthen Embankment safety program, to clear the danger and make these embankment dams "safe again", there has been an uproar in the Rochester area, which has now boiled over to the point where people are making fools of themselves, trying to fight against public safety initiatives in our area.

Worse yet, the folks fighting against dam safety, are doing it in the name of the environment. That would be the same "'environment' that the Canal Corporation is trying to protect, from what could be a devastating flood... yes flood like Midland Michigan. The dam that broke in Midland was the same height as many along the Erie Canal in our area. One thing the Midland folks wanted and didn't get, was an advanced warning about the flood danger. Rochester has been told about the danger and many are choosing to fight against it, online, on Facebook.

Sadly the voice of the true Canal Neighbors to these unsafe Earthen Dams, have been drowned out by the voices of those who are casual guests of NYPA. They are folks who walk along the top of the dams, on the Canal Corporation's Empire Trail, and they feel taking away "trees" is a sin. Even unsafe, dangerous ones making 127 miles of ERie Canal Dams unsafe...

But enough about "a fools journey"

So we've been showing this embankment transformation on the ECNA Forum for a few years now... my wife & I see it every day and wonder why we never saw it before. Take a look and see the difference a change in vegetation does to an embankment dam... this section is 400' long, about 16' tall.

Now you look at these pictures and decide... do you see an embankment dam?

And guess what, it's no surprise that most people using the Trail and Canal now say the Erie Canal looks BETTER with grass along the Empire Trail, grass that is now covering those long earthen dams which used to be covered with trees. That is the consensus from impromptu polling in our backyard.

Can you imagine that? Good looking. better views & SAFER too, it's a miracle!

And what of the Canal Corporation and New York Power Authority? Well they were able to fix 20% of their Unsafe Embankments just like this, in spite of the failed efforts of  a well meaning, but mis-guided Facebook group, trying to stand in their way... you know who you all are.

Here's the view from the Bottom of the Embankment

And from the Top of "The Dam in our Backyard"

Many people around the Rochester area have been spreading false narratives and "fake news" about this Canal Embankment Program, let's set the record straight now:

1) As you can see the grass (and weeds) are nice & green. The grass does get mowed periodically, more than the FEMA required two per season mowing. Was it brown in the heat of summer? Yes, of course, just like the grass in our own backyards.

2) The embankment is not "washing away" or eroding now that grass has replaced the trees, no big washouts as some have stated. Very stable & SAFE, even in the worst downpours we have had lately.

3) There is plenty of wildlife along these "new" embankments, we see fox, deer, geese and plenty of raccoons. There are no burrowing animals here now. And plenty of waterfowl and raptors are now easy to see, no trees block the view.

4) The Canal Corporation can now find and MARK the leaks on the dams, which was impossible to do before. We have four pink "leak" stakes here on our dam, and those leak everyday. Of course the repaired Tow Drain System now catches and diverts that leaking water where it should go.

5) The visitor traffic on the Empire Trail is alive & well. Some folks said that visitors & tourists would stop using the Erie Canal with the trees gone, that didn't happen. If anything, the Covid pandemic has brought more people out to use the Waterway & Empire Trail this season, and many people from other countries are raving about the look... it's what is normal to them.

6) All of the trees are NOT GONE as you can see in the pictures, just the dangerous ones on the earthen dams, still have shade, still have plenty of oxygen here. Many trees are left still, just not on the earthen embankments. So anyone or any group saying that the Canal Corporation will "take down all the trees". is simply spreading false information.

Just a reminder about the phony narrative and fake news regarding this Canal Embankment work. Normally these statements seem to come from "fake environmentalist" trying to push an agenda that has nothing to do with community safety or canal sustainability. It's more about their narrow-minded views of any changes to the Erie Canal that might upset the little worlds they have created for themselves on their walk along it.

These folks tend to say: 'If it's not broke don't fix it', but sadly they can't understand the Canal is broken and this is what a proper repair looks like. What you see in these pictures is summed up by these two words... Safer Dams

But it may just take a devastating flood of Canal Neighbors to prove the Canal is a catastrophe just waiting to happen, especially to this group of Facebook folks fighting against change...

« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 07:55:54 am by Doug K »