58 dams in Capital Region rated "High Hazard"

Posted at: 04/11/2013 4:24 PM
Updated at: 04/11/2013 5:31 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Work at shoring up the Gilboa Dam is reported ahead of schedule.

Good news for Schoharie Valley residents who've worried what would happen if the earthen structure gave way.

Part of the alarm system set up to warn about that possibility was knocked out in the 2011 flooding.

The Gilboa Dam, and for that matter the Hadlock Pond Dam that failed in 2005, are both rated high hazards according to information gathered by Senator Chuck Schumer's office.

Nearly 60 other dams in the Capital Region are also placed in that high hazard category.

"I don't think any of these dams will burst tomorrow, God forbid, but many of them have not received the inspections that they should receive," Schumer said. "Most of them are old. They're 60, 80, a hundred years old and just as when a person gets older they need regular check-ups, so do these dams."

Senator Schumer is pushing to reauthorize federal money that would fund state inspections of dams and upgrade emergency preparedness plans.

The Senator says inspections and emergency preparedness plans would also apply to the dams along the Erie Canal.

NewsChannel 13 has reported a refusal of the Canal Corporation to comply with state DEC rules.