Actually- you will be able to traverse the damage section of the erie (essentially the area from Oneida lake to waterford) NY gov. cuomo has state the canal will re-open from nov.24th through dec. 8th to allow vessels stranded by the recent hurricane damage to exit the erie and enter the hudson.
Of course if you would prefer a bit earlier departure (as I would) you can still "do" the lake champlain canal via Lake Ontario and a short pass through canada. It's in full operation.
I was suprised to see it will be somewhat functioanl so quickly , based on the extent of the damage. I'm glad to hear it and am happy as it indicates it will probably be up and running in the spring as well.