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High waters hurting Port of Oswego; damage to local economy likely
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A major economic driver in Oswego County is under threat by the weather. The Port of Oswego says when floodwater finally goes down, it could reveal millions of dollars in damage.

The power of water is unmatched. On the Oswego Harbor, it's been relentlessly pounding away against the port. Erosion started last week after water exceeded the 100 year high water mark the port was designed to withstand.

"We've gone over what was conceivable to a point in an untrodden area and we now have to decide day by day and plan as we go through," says William Scriber with the Port of Oswego.

Part of that plan is the Oswego Fire Department. It just helped put in sandbags to protect some of the grain stored on the pier near the edge of the harbor. The port's drains for excess water are submerged and can't be used effectively. While today is nice, to prepare for a stormy one fire crews are prepared to use large hoses and booms to act as another barrier to protect the grain valued at half a million dollars.

While there's hope to save the grain, the western pier may not be as lucky. There are very real concerns a section of the pier may be torn off. Deep cracks have already formed. The fire department says the break wall for the harbor is now irrelevant with the increased water, so the pier is at the mercy of Lake Ontario now. The port is looking two weeks down the road.

"We're supposed to have a system come in and if that system comes in with this high water level were basically going to have the waves breach the dock."

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While it's tricky, the port is able to still dock ships. However, the concern is really for the future. If things continue to deteriorate, construction would shut portions of the port down for a year or more, impacting the local economy significantly by decreasing the number of ships that can dock here.

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