Dewitt section of Erie Canal trail back open, crews still trying to figure out a permanent solution

Although the temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, bikers, joggers and walkers still made their way to the Old Erie Canal trails for some exercise, something they were unable to do all weekend. The Erie Canal trail between the Butternut parking lot and Cedar Bay was closed after a breach late Friday night caused waters to flood into Butternut Creek.

The breach was caused by waters that seeped through rocks and underground over time, and water began to flow into Butternut creek Friday night, and was amplified Saturday morning, forcing crews to shut down that section of the trail in order to bring in machinery.

"Canal core was going to need to de-water the section of the canal, build a dam to hold the water back in the canal, and divert the water coming from the other direction into the creek," New York State Parks Regional Director Rob Hiltbrand said.

After all of the above was finished to stop the flooding, the trail reopened to the public on Monday, as their safety was no longer as concern. Hiltbrand said the water level dropped three to four feet on the east side of Cedar Bay, and was slowly rising after the dam was put in place.

"Levels are stabilizing now," he said. "Once the dam was finished by about 3 this afternoon, the water started coming back up."

The main question now is if there is a permanent solution to the problem, which is what crews worked to achieve throughout the day, but there is still no timetable for that solution to be made.