WXXI AM News

great lakes

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nearly $3 million in additional relief funding is going to communities in five upstate New York counties along Lake Ontario to help them recover from last year's flooding.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state had awarded $2.9 million in flood relief funds to local governments in Wayne, Orleans, Niagara, Cayuga and Jefferson counties.

Cuomo says the funding will be used for ongoing restoration and recovery efforts and to protect communities from future storms.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

As the invasive species the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid continues to spread across New York, our neighbors to the North are trying to get ahead of the problem.

A coach bus brought a group of landowners and resource managers from Ontario to Durand Eastman Park in Rochester, to learn more about the spread and management of the insect.

The small bug poses a huge risk to Hemlock trees in New York, and has been spotted in Nova Scotia and the Ontario side of the Niagara River.

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.

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