The Travels of Tug 44

2006 Erie Canal Flood

June 2006 was an exceptionally rainy month on the Erie and Champlain Canals, and the increased water flow wrecked havoc in many areas particularly on the Eastern Erie Canal. The worst destruction was at Lock 10, which was in the middle of a 3-year construction project to replace/rebuild the adjacent dam. The lock-keeper's concrete building tipped and fell into a hole, and the temporary coffer dams where wiped out. Lock 10 will be out of operation for 2 months or more. Many other locks were completely submerged, as well as most of the ports. One boat sank and rolled inside the chamber of Lock 15.

Many boats were stuck at flooded ports for nearly a month and some were damaged. Local residents and rescue squads were extremely helpful and provided boaters with hot meals and a couch to sleep on.

The Canal Corp provided safe refuge above Lock 3 at Waterford. Protected by Guard Gate 2, this location was one of very few places on the eastern canal where the water level could be regulated safely. The boaters there made the best of a bad situation and even had "Lock 3 Yacht Club" t-shirts printed up!

Tug 44 was detained during a minor flood early in June, but that was nothing compared to the destruction that followed later. We cleared the canal system on June 23rd, just a day or two before everything was submerged.

Here are some photos of what it looked like:

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