Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo is asking shoreline communities along Lake Ontario to remain vigilant with word that the National Weather Service has upgraded a previously issued flood watch to a flood warning in western Monroe County beginning at 6am on Sunday morning and continuing until 11pm on Sunday night.
That flood warning is also in effect for parts of Orleans and Niagara Counties.
Dinolfo says that experts believe that this flooding should affect few homes directly; however, she says there is significant risk that property will be impacted. Dinolfo says she has directed the county’s office of emergency management to make every necessary resource available to town governments along the shoreline.
Residents living along the shoreline of Lake Ontario and its bays should keep a close eye on their property and call 911 early if they feel a dangerous situation is developing. Local fire departments are providing basement pump-outs for those impacted by flooding. Additionally, boaters should avoid travel on bays and ponds directly connected to Lake Ontario in areas under the flood warning.
The county executive says that during the past several weeks, Monroe County has provided 30,000 sandbags to town governments in Monroe County and currently has 30,000 more ready to distribute should the need arise. Monroe County also secured a sandbag-filling machine, which has been deployed to town governments to aid in their sandbag distribution efforts. Additionally, the county has secured another 130,000 sandbags that can be brought to the area quickly, if necessary.
Sandbagging guidance from the US Army Corps of Engineers can be found here: www.nws.usace.army.mil/Portals/27/docs/emergency/NWD_Sandbag_Pamphlet.pdf
In areas outside of the flood warning in western Monroe County, the County continues to recommend that boaters should reduce speeds to cause no wake within 500 feet of shore and should use extreme caution when traveling on waters connected to Lake Ontario as high water has caused dangerous navigational hazards including sunken docks, floating logs and driftwood.
Dinolfo says she has spoken with members of the areas federal and state delegations about the need for funding for repairs to property and shoreline as well as funding to prevent this type of damage in the future.