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Flooding Damage At Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Nears $3 Million


The Great Falls Tavern had a soggy yard from last month's flooding. NPS photo.

Flood waters that raged along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park caused nearly $3 million in damage, according to updated estimates from park officials.

As reported late last month, damage included two breaches of the canal’s towpath near Harpers Ferry, which now have temporary bridges over them, and general scouring of the towpath surface, said Deputy Supervisor Brian Carlstrom.

Causing the damage was a combination of heavy rains and melt from the winter’s record-breaking snowstorms. Together they pushed the Potomac River over its banks. While still considered a moderate flood, these waters were the highest the area had seen since 1996, Mr. Carlstrom said at the time.

A road is now being built near Lock 5 to provide access to the broken inlet lock. A gate was broken at Lock 2 as well, and a debris field needs clearing near the Monocacy Aqueduct.

Mr. Carlstrom expects repairs to last into the summer.

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