Author Topic: The Canal will NOT open for 2020 Season on May 15, closed until further notice  (Read 58 times)

Doug K

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All of you people thinking that the NY State Canal System is still closed due to Covid-19 Pandemic social distancing are missing the point being made by the Canal's not about keeping people APART, it's about keeping the general public & canal communities SAFE.

There are unsafe dams that need clearing still, and there are 9 locks listed in the NYS Canal Corporation system that haven't been properly maintained and repaired in the off season. Those structures control where water goes, and are critical to the canal system integrity and safe operation. It's about Canal Employee safety as well as the safety of the public using the trails and waterway.

Here's the Westside News tries to change that narrative, stressing the "importance" of getting the canal open for "social & economic" reasons.

In a frontpage story they talk about how the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor folks are upset that the canal is still closed, and somehow blame continued Covid PAUSE efforts that they think should be lifted.

Sadly these folks missed the ENTIRE point that the NY Canal Corporation tried to make...the Canal System safety cannot be guaranteed right that should have happened when it was closed...didn't happen. And until the Locks, Dams, and other Canal System structures can be cleared for SAFETY, the entire system has to remain closed.

What about the SAFETY of those living below the waterline when you open a canal that hasn't been repaired, maintained or inspected properly to open in the 2020 season? Hard to believe that a publication like the Westside News would make such a grave mistake in supporting Public Safety...but they have.

As a "neighbor" of the Canal, living BELOW the waterline, I would just remind people that SOME of us have to worry about potential flooding when the Canal is opened each year. For us it's about surviving yet another year with a 200 year old DAM in our backyard, it's not about the scenery we have for a walk when we decide to use the canal that day.

And it certainly should be mentioned to all of these people who can't see beyond their own selfish interests, there is NOTHING worse for a community, both financially & socially, than a devastating flood. A flood that could be avoided if people took safety more seriously and not the ramblings of a Westside News story about people who care little about public safety.