Author Topic: The severing of an Optic Cable.  (Read 34 times)

Michael Caswell

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The severing of an Optic Cable.
« on: December 02, 2020, 03:32:24 am »

This was posted recently on the STCC Facebook page by Virginia Borden Maier, with comment on the recent 'repair' of a cable line that was severed during the shoring up of a VERY dangerous embankment failure.

If you look at the inset image, top left, you'll see an area with wavy lines.  This represents a SWAMP! Now, one has to ask, where is all that water coming from? Here's a clue. This swamp is some 60 feet below the canal - that's the body of water just to the right.

Just a few feet to the north of this is the site of the 1912 breach, and it had an effect on the tree growth. Looking across from the east side, there is a considerable dip in the tree line. Obviously, the trees didn't grow as well here, and I put that down to the fact that most of the soil was washed away. There is also the bare spot circled where no trees have grown, probably for the same reason.

So, we have a swamp, and a previous site of a breach, and a determination by the Canal Corporation that an EMERGENCY REPAIR is required.


The STCC Maier etc) claim that the Optic Cable was severed accidentally, but if you look carefully at the first image, you'll see that the NYPA was fully aware of the cable. It's within their proposed area of repair.
Yet, they had an emergency, the embankment was likely to collapse at any minute. They needed to hammer in 40' long steel sheets to alter the Phreatic Line, but the cable wasn't buried that deep, simply because of the embankment, and burying UNDER the actual canal.
I believe a decision was made to sever the cable, and quietly reroute it later to bypass the metal sheets, which is what they did.

There was no negligence. This was a careful decision to save the residents from an imminent flood.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 04:04:06 am by Michael Caswell »

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Doug K

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Re: The severing of an Optic Cable.
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2020, 12:11:06 pm »
Because it's very difficult for some people in your area to see these Canal Embankments and other people seem to have forgotten how to "make-believe" I will help.

Here's what the Canal looked like behind our house in 2017. These are two pictures joined together, one looking East the other West.

And now today that ENTIRE section of Erie Canal Embankment has been uncovered... this is what an Erie Canal Earthen Dam looks like. NOte the comments added to the image.

And if you need to see that water leak just a little better, here's a close-up with more comments.

It's not hard to understand that water runs downhill, and that water seeks it's own level. Raised water on the inside of an earthen embankment or dam wants to get out... downhill.

It's also not hard to understand that anything with long roots, like TREES that are growing on these earthen canal dams, can & will try to reach that water supply and disrupt it...causing a weakness that eventually erodes to an embankment breach.

This is the science behind dam engineering & safety, and the same science that this Facebook group still wants to ignore.

Read more here about when Embankments become too saturated and tree roots cause leaks.!/msg1354/#msg1354

« Last Edit: December 03, 2020, 12:13:03 pm by Doug K »