Governor Andrew Cuomo says that state agencies are offering additional resources to help protect communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline. He made the comment during a news conference in Sodus Point on Monday afternoon
With the lake about a foot above historic levels, Cuomo noted it’s hard to say just what should be an average level for the lake in recent years.
“And I think we just have to accept a new reality that flooding and increased water flow is a new reality and let’s start building for that new reality rather than responding to these continued emergencies,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he's also looking for help from the International Joint Commission, the agency that includes people from both the U.S. and Canada, and helps regulate the level of the Great Lakes.
The governor is hopeful that the fact there are more New Yorkers on that board may help in any decisions that are made.
“We now have New Yorkers who are on the commission and we hope New York gets better representation and there will be a meeting this week with representatives from the state and the IJC to just that point,” Cuomo told reporters.
The state is offering communities along the lakeshore thousands of sandbags and also has put about 20 members of the National Guard on standby.
There hasn’t been any widespread flooding yet along the lake shore in this area,, but officials with the board that helps regulate lake levels says that could change depending on rainfall over the next month or so.
Irondequoit Town Supervisor Dave Seeley says there are a number of nervous lakeshore residents in his area, with some of them asking about the availability of sandbags.
“We’ll have those sandbags available for residents. We’ll be working with State DOT on the distribution system and our goal is to assume that demand and calls for service and help are only going to increase and to be ready for it,” Seeley said. He said the sandbags will be available at the town’s public works garage.
More than 200,000 sandbags are being sent to several counties along the Lake Ontario Shoreline.