Task Force will look at ‘reasonable measures’ for flood management along Erie Canal

Posted 4 July 2022 at 9:10 am

Press Release, Kathy Hochul’s Office

Photo by Tom Rivers: These cyclists head east past Presbyterian Road along the towpath in Albion in July 2017 when 650 cyclists passed through Orleans County for the annual Cycle the Erie Canal trip.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she has signed new legislation (S.8204a/A.9177) naming Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton as Chair of the Upstate Flood Mitigation Task Force.

The task force will identify and recommend reasonable measures that can be taken to enhance flood management and mitigation along the Erie Canal. The task force will meet for the first time on Aug. 22.

“As New York experiences more extreme weather events due to climate change, it is more important than ever before that we plan for and prioritize resiliency measures,” Governor Hochul said. “Countless New York communities are at risk of climate-related dangers like flooding and storm damage. By convening the Upstate Flood Mitigation Task force, we are taking action to identify flood mitigation strategies that will protect the people who live in communities along the Erie Canal, and ultimately help to relieve these communities from the impacts of repeat flooding.”

The new task force will explore the cost or impact of flooding along the Erie Canal over the last five years to agriculture, transportation, infrastructure, land use, public health, insurance, tourism, recreation, and power generation.

In addition, the task force will assess the canal system operation, procedures and plans that may impact flood mitigation and management and identify adaptive measures, with costs, that could be executed to mitigate flood damages. The taskforce will prepare a report by July 1, 2023, to publicly site its findings.

“I am pleased to serve as the designated chair of the Upstate Flood Mitigation Taskforce,” said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “By coming together with my state agency colleagues and leading subject matter experts in hydrology, civil engineering, conservation, and climate change, I am confident that the task force’s collaboration, research and recommendations will provide a roadmap for improved water management.”