WXXI AM News

Great Lakes Today

Office of Rep. John Katko

Although members of the joint U.S. - Canadian agency that oversees a water regulation plan came to Central New York on Friday, some of those attending a roundtable discussion weren’t necessarily pleased with what they heard.

That’s because members of the International Joint Commission indicated they still need more time to evaluate the impact of Plan 2014. That’s a controversial plan put into effect a few years ago, which some Lake Ontario shoreline residents feel contributed to recent flooding.

A coalition of New York property owners plans to sue the International Joint Commission (IJC), the international body that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario.

At the first meeting of the newly formed Lake Ontario Landowners Association, a crowd of more than 100 packed into a restaurant in Pulaski and cheered on the founder Jim Shea as he railed against the IJC and its board members.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

There is word that the board of the International Joint Commission, the U.S. – Canadian agency that manages the waters shared by the two countries, may hold an emergency board meeting on Wednesday, to look at issues involving recent shoreline flooding.

Office of NY Governor Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state agency officials were in Rochester on Monday to kick off a new commission that will work to toughen the infrastructure along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

The Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, or REDI, commission is part of the state’s response to the flooding that has hit the south shore of the lake this year, just two years after the last wave of floods that damages homes and other properties.

Cuomo says a number of state agencies will be involved.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Officials who help regulate the level of Lake Ontario are pointing to some hopeful signs in the effort to deal with the ongoing flooding issues along the lake shore.

The level of Lake Ontario is still at a record. Hovering at around 249 feet.  But officials with the International Lake Ontario-Saint Lawrence River Board say that water levels have started to stabilize.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Winds from the east and northeast brought waves of water onto the south shore of Lake Ontario and caused flooding in parts of the Town of Greece on Tuesday.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo on Tuesday issued a State of Emergency due to flooding along Lake Ontario.

She says the State of Emergency is in effect for the entirety of the Monroe County shoreline inland to Lake Ontario Parkway, Lakeshore Boulevard, and Lake Road. Dinolfo says the order provides the ability for the County and local municipalities to initiate and maintain road closures as conditions warrant.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Water levels in Lake Ontario keep rising.

The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board said on Monday that water levels have reached 248.85 feet, and will likely reach or exceed the 2017 record high of 248.95 feet within the next few days.

Forecasts show that Lake Ontario levels are expected to crest within the next one to three weeks, mostly within an inch or so of the record high, but officials say that potentially higher levels are possible should wet weather continue.

Dave Seeley, Irondequoit Town Supervisor

As the level of Lake Ontario continues to rise, it is making for some tense times for both residents and local officials.

Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley says as a town official, he’s very concerned, and he can only imagine how people affected by the rising water are feeling.

Seeley says areas along Irondequoit Bay have already seen some high water, and that’s where members of the New York National Guard and the town’s department of public works have been able to help out, by finding ways to place sandbags in some of those areas.

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Governor Cuomo says that the lake is at flood level now, and what officials are worried about most is the weather, both the possibility of any more rain, and the winds, which depending on the direction, could cause waves that create more flooding.

The governor is worried about a repeat of the damage we saw in 2017, and he says with increasing frequency of this kind of problem, there needs to be a hard look at what kind of building or rebuilding along the lake front might be done after damage caused by any future shoreline flooding.

Office of NY Gov. Cuomo

OLCOTT, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News)  New York officials have declared a state of emergency for the counties along Lake Ontario as water levels continue to rise. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday directed state agencies to assist local governments and residents in responding to potential flooding in the coming days and weeks. Rising lake waters caused extensive damage in 2017, and work crews are fortifying flood-prone areas with barriers to avoid a repeat. 

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