Great Lakes Today

The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board meets on Monday to talk about the release of water throughout the system and the recent flooding along the river and the south shore of the lake.

The board issued a statement late last week saying that months of precipitation produced the highest recorded water levels on Lake Ontario since records were kept over the last 100 years.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News/Great Lakes Today

Spring flooding along Lake Ontario is damaging many homes along the shoreline, and it’s hurting people who have businesses there. Now, business owners say it will take a long time to recover -- even after the floodwaters go away.

Marge’s is a little bungalow bar in Rochester. Inside, there's a small wooden bar and a few games, but you don't go to Marge’s to stay inside.

Out back is a big stretch of beach looking out over Lake Ontario. There's a tiki hut, and frozen drink machine, and live music on the weekends.

Alex Crichton / WXXI News

The Town of Greece has started a petition drive in an effort to get changes to a plan that affects the level of water in Lake Ontario.

Town Supervisor Bill Reilich says the petition is an outgrowth of Thursday night’s meeting involving various lakeshore neighborhood associations, looking at ways to address the damage from the high levels on Lake Ontario.

Alex Crichton / WXXI News

New York State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle is introducing legislation he says would establish a $105 million grant program for flood recovery along the Lake Ontario shoreline and Saint Lawrence Seaway.

The Irondequoit Democrat says some of the money would help affected property and business owners, another portion would go to local governments and some funds would also be set aside to plan mitigation efforts against possible damage in future years.

The Greece Town Board on Wednesday passed a resolution to ask Monroe County to explore possible legal action regarding the high levels in Lake Ontario.

Property owners in Greece are among those along the lakeshore who have been hit by flooding in recent weeks, and the resolution passed by the town board makes reference to changes brought about by Plan 2014. That’s a plan that changes the way water levels are regulated on Lake Ontario.

Governor Cuomo says many people who are heading to their camps or summer homes near Lake Ontario this Memorial Day Weekend will discover for the first time just how much damage has been done due to flooding.

Speaking in Oswego County, Cuomo announced the Department of Environmental Conservation will operate during weekend hours starting this Memorial Day Weekend, and lasting all summer long.

He says many of the parcels along Lake Ontario are summer or weekend homes.

Updated Friday, May 26, at 4:45 p.m.

The region braced for a long stretch of rain and showers -- weather that could contribute to more flooding.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for rain or a chance or showers every day through Thursday. 

And the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River board, which controls outflows from a big dam, says it be "several weeks" before the lake is significantly lower.

The Trump administration released details of its 2018 budget plan today. As expected, it eliminates a $300 million program to help the Great Lakes. But that isn’t the only environmental program targeted.

Water levels on Lake Ontario may be peaking, but for lakefront homeowners, the worst is far from over.

However, there were developments Monday involving some help from the state.

Governor Cuomo's office announced he's making $10 million available to help flood victims.

These funds from New York State Homes and Community Renewal agency are expected to help towns along the lake to build back infrastructure like roads, sidewalks, and sewers.

Veronica Volk/Great Lakes Today / WXXI News

NYS Senate Republicans have announced the introduction of a bill creating a new Great Lakes Flood Recovery Grant Program to help those impacted by the lake flooding this Spring.

The measure makes $55 million in grants available to property owners, businesses, farms, not-for-profit corporations, municipalities, and counties affected by high water levels in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain, and the St. Lawrence River.