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Mongaup to Re-Open After Three-Year Closure (NY)

Posted: 04/15/2008
by Kevin Colburn

Boaters in the northeast have good reason to be excited this month. The Rio Project on the Mongaup River (NY) will reopen this month after being closed to recreation for nearly three years.

 

In May 2005, inspectors noticed a sinkhole on the face of the dam at Swinging Bridge Reservoir, upstream from Rio.  Emergency measures kicked in; all of the Mongaup projects began dumping water, the Upper Delaware River was closed to recreation, and authorities began evacuating Port Jervis, about ten miles down the Delaware from the Mongaup.

 

Within a few days the situation had stabilized, the Upper Delaware was reopened, and residents returned to their homes. FERC, which oversees the Mongaup hydroelectric projects, determined that there was still a remote chance of a dam failure that might endanger boaters and fishermen, and ordered that recreation at the project be suspended.

 

Boaters followed developments at the project closely as the dam was repaired, and the reservoirs upstream were refilled and reopened.  Anxious to see that the 2008 boating season was not affected, AW joined the Kayak and Canoe Club of New York (KCCNY), an AW affiliate, in petitioning for the reopening of the Rio Project.  On April 4th, FERC ordered the resumption of recreational releases, in time for the 2008 season.  The first release is scheduled for April 19th.

 

This season’s release schedule will reward boaters for their patience.  While the project was closed, FERC heard final arguments on whether 2-turbine (Class III) releases should be included in the schedule.  FERC decided in February, 2007 that they should be included. Two-turbine releases are scheduled for May 17th, June 29th, August 24th, September 21st and October 19th.

 

Article Submitted by: Lauren Cook

Conservation Chair, Kayak and Canoe Club of New York

Kevin Colburn
Asheville, NC



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