A leak in a downtown Zanesville canal could have had major consequences.
Monday during a routine check of the canal by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources they found the canal was leaking into the river in two places. The areas being looked at are near the Y-bridge. Emergency Management Director Bo Keck said it’s similar to a breach in a dam.
"It would basically erode out the ground around the opening and take the canal out of the picture and just erode it clear out," explained Keck. "Then the river would actually find the canal as it’s best source to get through and that’s because of our dam upstream."
It would also lead to flooding downstream and a lowering of water level upstream. ODNR has filled in one area with rock and the upper lock doors are now closed and sealed. They’ll then lower the water level in the canal so that they can see what’s causing the problems and how best to fix them.
"We’ve checked on-line and found some old pictures of this area. There used to be a milk company that actually sat here on the canal and we’re looking at all that to see that if there’s possibly some drainage between the canal and the river when those old companies were in here," said Keck.
It’s unknown how long the lock will be closed, but ODNR hopes to have it open for the summer boating season. It’s also unknown the cost of the project, which will be paid for through ODNR.