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great lakes

Tianna Manon/WXXI News

While many in Monroe County are hoping for warm spring-like weather soon, county officials are preparing for rain and flooding. County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo met with several local agencies on Thursday to discuss flooding preparedness and Lake Ontario's high lake levels. 

She says they have more than 40,000 sandbags stockpiled and are working out how to utilize aqua dams, giant refillable tubes that block water when laid down.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Governor Andrew Cuomo is asking the International Joint Commission to maximize outflows of water from Lake Ontario.

He sent a letter to the U.S. Chair of the IJC  in advance of the commission’s scheduled decrease in outflows, which happened on Thursday.

Cuomo said that, "After the disastrous flooding situations on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River last year, it is critical that we remain vigilant and take whatever measures are necessary for ensuring that history does not repeat itself."

Key federal funding for the Great Lakes has survived again thanks to Congress.

This is the second time President Trump proposed a big cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. And Congress restored it full: $300 million for the 2019 budget year. 

Many advocates for the Great Lakes are in Washington, D.C., this week to push back against President Trump's proposal to slash funding for the region. They want Congress to continue its bipartisan support on issues such as cleaning up pollution and protecting drinking water.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Monroe County is receiving some state funding to help with problems caused by flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo says the county will get $1.5 million from the NYS Office of Community Renewal, and the money will support several restoration and mitigation projects along the lakefront.

About $1 million will be used to restore infrastructure damaged by last year’s flooding, while the rest will be used to find projects to help prevent further damage in the event of future flooding.

For Christians, the weeks leading up to Easter are a time of sacrifice. And many observe by giving up chocolate, alcohol or other treats.

But the Anglican Church has another suggestion this year. It's urging members to take the Lent Plastics Challenge and reduce their use of straws, cups, bottles and many other plastic products.

New plan in Greece to deal with potential flooding

Feb 6, 2018
Town of Greece

Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich has a plan to ward off potential floodwaters this year.

He has commissioned the installation of new shut-off valves and piping, and the construction of berm in locations greatly impacted by high lake levels last year.

Reilich says research indicates that shut-off valves and new piping will be more effective than running pumps 24 hours a day like last year.

Alex Crichton / WXXI News

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for a federal agency to take emergency action to help residents along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines deal with flooding problems.

Cuomo has written to a regional official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, following up on the historic flooding that damaged homes and businesses along Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River last year.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Water levels on Lake Ontario are well below the record peak they hit last May, but they are relatively high for this time of year. That’s according to the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board which can help regulate the lake level to some extent via the Moses Saunders dam.

As of January 30th, Lake Ontario was a foot above average.

Arun Heer is U.S. Secretary for the board. He says the board continues to maximize the outflow of water from Lake Ontario.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today/WXXI News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — New York's U.S. senators want the Army Corps of Engineers to fund a new study of what needs to be done to prevent future flood devastation along Lake Ontario.

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand say the Great Lakes Coast Resiliency Study will develop an infrastructure strategy for future coastal management.

The Corps created such a plan for making the Atlantic shoreline more resilient in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

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