Live on Lake Ontario? Here's a tool to help you plan for future flooding

Jun 7, 2019

The mapping tool allows users to add layers of potential flood levels in areas along Lake Ontario, like Edgemere Drive
Credit Screenshot from NY Sea Grant app

People with property along the shores of Lake Ontario can now see how they might be affected by flooding in the future.

A new tool developed by a New York research program maps out potentially vulnerable areas along the lake.

Record high water levels on Lake Ontario are expected to crest in the next few weeks and then start to go down.

Once that happens, people with lakefront property damaged from the flooding are left with a question: Rebuild what was there before or rethink where to build next?

New York Sea Grant, a partnership between SUNY and Cornell University, may be able to help answer that question. With funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NY Sea Grant researchers have developed a mapping tool for residents along Lake Ontario.

It’s like Google Maps, but for the future. Different layered colors on the map show different potential flooding scenarios.

The different scenarios are not based on currently projected water levels. Rather, the Sea Grant says, they’re based on potential flood conditions and are offered for planning purposes only.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned that climate change could cause more frequent flooding on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Flooding in 2017 cost the state about $100 million.

New York Sea Grant is offering a free 45-minute online training session on how to use the new mapping tool at 1 p.m. June 20.