Erie Canal levels near Little Falls to be dropped ahead of storm

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) - Boaters in upstate New York are being urged to pull their vessels out of the Erie Canal ahead of next week's forecast "superstorm."

The state Canal Corp. has been alerting boaters that it will be drawing down water in part of the Mohawk River ahead of heavy rain expected as Hurricane Sandy moves up the East Coast.

The agency warned that water levels will be dropped enough to prevent navigation between Lock E-8 in Scotia and Lock E-17 in Little Falls. That stretch is expected to be closed starting early Saturday morning and the water will be dropped 3 to 5 feet below navigation levels.

There could be more closings, depending on the storm.

The canal system was heavily damaged by last year's back-to-back tropical storms Irene and Lee.

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