Author Topic: New 'Stealth Member' of the STCC. Who is she?  (Read 19 times)

Michael Caswell

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New 'Stealth Member' of the STCC. Who is she?
« on: July 18, 2021, 06:20:43 am »
According to Ms Agte, the STCC has a new member, labeled by her as her 'Stealth Member'.

Now, I'm not too sure what that means exactly, but I'm pretty sure this lady is not as nefarious as this title sounds. She's Karen Anvelt,  & according to a quick Google search and to LinkedIn, she comes up as an administrator for the U of R, and she lives at #1 Forestwood Lane in Pittsford.

I checked Google Maps, and this property is adjacent to The Great Embankment Dam of Marsh Road, and also adjacent to Irondequoit Creek, which happens to run UNDER Marsh Rd. I've been to the Great Embankment Park a couple of times, to look at this structure, but not to see the culvert.

Ms Anvelt has made some signs for members of the STCC to place on their property, proclaiming 'Save The Trees'. Yet her situation is, to say the least, at greater risk than most who live on the 'wrong' side of a canal embankment dam.

Yesterday was the second day of a torrential downpour, so it was no surprise to see Irondequoit Creek in full flood, and quite noisy, as I stood on the edge of the road looking into the creek. Pretty scary to see that much water coming under the road from the culvert which flows UNDER the road and the canal.

I was about to leave, then noticed a trail leading up into the woods that adorn the Great Embankment. Looking up this well trodden trail, I could just see the top, and estimate the height from the road to be some 70-80 feet. It was still raining heavily, but I wanted to look at the crest, so started my climb. The trail was very muddy, with many pebbles exposed, making the journey quite treacherous, so after getting about half way up, I decided to abort the mission, before I slipped and slithered into the road. I had a job to stay upright because of the steepness of the trail.

This photo doesn't quite capture the steepness of the slope, but it is certainly more than 45 degrees, more likely 60. Recommended ratio of base line to height of dams are at minimum 2:1, preferably 3:1 - this is less than 1:1 I think.

The trees cover is very dense, as seen here, note the power lines, which give perspective to the height.

Here is what struck me about this situation.
1. We have a large culvert with a tremendous volume of water
2. The culvert, like most Canal Corp 'assets' has likely been badly maintained.
3. The creek runs UNDER the canal, AND Marsh Road.
4. Properties in Forestwood Lane are well below the level of the road.
5. There are large downed  trees everywhere on the canal embankment slopes.
6. The standing trees, mainly Cottonwoods, are about 100 feet tall.
7. Brush and scrub is growing everywhere.
8. It would be impossible to carry out a detailed inspection of the embankment.
9. How would the NYPA rectify the design error of these steep slopes? I doubt they could construct a toe drain to alter the Phreatic Line without digging into Marsh Rd.
10. Would they alter the Phreatic Line by installing Sheet Piling as they did at The Oxbow?

There are a number of serious problems here. If this culvert were to be damaged in any way, say the retaining walls at the outlet were compromised and washed out etc. Would that be the start of the dam breach? The canal would empty into the creek and completely flood the area of Marsh Rd and all its adjoins streets.

I wonder if the residents of this area are aware of the imminent dangers they are in? Obviously some of them are not, and are having signs made saying "Save The Trees"

Over the next few days, the entire Great Embankment could become super saturated and of great concern if a few of these trees were blown over. It's nowhere I'd want to be right now.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 06:22:41 am by Michael Caswell »

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Doug K

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Mike looked up credentials for Ms. Anvelt, and her property, and I looked up FEMA Flood Maps. Surprisingly she is just outside the Flood Zone at the base of the Great Embankment where Irondequoit creek runs under it. And it also gave a chance to share some information on this huge embankment in Pittsford... one that should be cleared immediately.

Here's the FEMA information.

And we can view the streets as well. Note that I also have added a picture of this SAME AREA from 2013, when the Barge Canal was starting to replace the original Erie Canal.

But the BEST photo, for those who simply "can't see the Embankment Dam" because all those Dam Trees are in the way, here's what the Great Embankment looked like, 5 years before it's "grand opening", circa 1921. Note the SIZE of the mountain across from Ms. Anvelt's home. And the FACT it has not a tree on it... that is what the Great Embankment was "supposed to look like: Because it's an EARTHEN DAM... not a 'pretty forest' that leads up to the Canal.

I would also put the word out to Ms. Anvelt, and all who live below this Earthen Canal Embankment; let the owners of the NYS Erie Canal FIX their SAFETY problem with the RAISED Canal Section in your neighborhood. They have said it's an "accident waiting to happen", you all should listen.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 04:23:57 pm by Doug K »