State officials implement hurricane precautions

Posted at: 10/28/2012 7:23 PM
Updated at: 10/29/2012 5:46 AM
By: Dan Levy

COLONIE - State officials on Sunday continued to implement precautions in advance of Hurricane Sandy.

"This is going to be a serious situation," said Governor Andrew Cuomo, at a news conference outside the Cresent Power Plant in Colonie Sunday afternoon. "Exactly how bad, we don't know and we hope not as bad as (Hurricane) Irene was last year, but in truth we don't know."

The governor, erring on the side of public safety, encouraging everyone to take the impending storm seriously, insisting that every citizen shares the responsibility to act prudently.

The State Canal Corporation began lowering water levels along the Erie Canal on Thursday, raising the upper gates on all eight moveable dams in the Mohawk Valley.

"In total, the actions we have undertaken will lower water levels 12 to 16 feet below navigational level in the Erie Canal," said Brian Stratton, Director of the New York Canal Corporation.

Those precautions were between Lock 16 at St. Johnsville, in Montgomery County, all the way to Lock 8 in Scotia, in Schenectady County.

"The purpose of lowering the water levels including the canal itself, is to create additional storage to absorb the expected incoming rains," said Howard Glaser, the director of state operations.

"This is nothing to be trifled with," Cuomo added, "This is not a storm to play with."

Glaser says they intend to have power plants monitored around the clock from now throughout the duration of the storm. There will also be civil engineers stationed across the state monitoring the integrity of dams.