WXXI AM News

Lake Ontario flood

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

The level of water on Lake Ontario has hit a record high and residents along the south shore of Lake Ontario are likely to face challenges again starting Sunday night.

That’s according to information from the National Weather Service which has issued a Lakeshore Flood Warning from Sunday evening through early Tuesday morning.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

On Tuesday, high water levels and winds caused flooding on Edgemere Drive in Greece. Though the water has receded, the cleanup continues.

Karen Marsh is wearing pink canvas gloves as she wrestles with debris in her yard on Edgemere Drive.

She says she left her house at 9:30 the morning of the flood, the street was clear.

"Came back an hour and a half later and my entire home had water all the way around it. It’s not something I would want for anyone."

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

New commissioners with the International Joint Commission were in Greece Tuesday to visit the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

Laura Jacket lives in North Greece, right on the water, and all year she’s been watching the lake climb slowly higher.

"If you go up right now up to Edgemere Drive and Long Pond and Lowden, you’ll cry if you care about it at all. Because the road is shut down and the water is coming through people’s houses and it’s up to my house now on North Drive."

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.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Business along the lake shore are trying to get the word out that they are open for business, despite high water levels.

Allison Mayer is the manager of Mayer's Marina. The business is on Lake Road in Webster, right between the Irondequiot Bay and Lake Ontario. She says they took a hit in the 2017 floods, but also that they were better prepared when the water started to rise this year.

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. 

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

The National Weather Service has issued a Lakeshore Flood Warning for parts of Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego counties from 5:00 p.m. on Monday until 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

The weather service says that the combination of very high lake levels and moderate westerly winds will result in greater wave action and an increase in lakeshore flooding potential on the eastern portion of Lake Ontario. Winds are forecasted to be in the range of 14 to 22mph, with gusts over 30mph possible.

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