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DEC warns of fuel spills, talks flood repairs

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking property owners to watch for fuel spills and reminding people to stay off area water bodies until flood waters recede.

DEC says homeowners with flooded basements should check for sheens or odors from gasoline, oil or other substances that may have leaked from storage tanks, furnaces, or other motorized equipment before pumping out water.

Gas and oil can have an adverse impact on the environment and homeowners are urged to call the DEC Spills Hotline if they suspect that fuel has leaked on their property. The phone number is 1-800-457-7362.

The agency is also reminding property owners along shorelines to check with DEC before undertaking repairs to make sure the work meet's the necessary guidelines.

Officials say that work necessary for health or public safety may be permitted under emergency authorization procedures. Some work may not be safe due to continued flooding and shoreline erosion.

Meanwhile, the Lower and Upper Locks remain closed to the public as high waters and large amounts of debris are preventing officials from opening them. Many boat launch sites are flooded, making it risky to launch or retrieve boats.

Paddlers and boaters should continue to stay off rivers, streams, and lakes, as currents are running swiftly and water temperatures remain very cold.

Backcountry recreation is also being discouraged at this point, due to the potential for mudslides and wet conditions.

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