Communities along Lake Ontario brace for potential flood

April 26, 2019 11:26 PM

SODUS POINT, N.Y. (WHEC) -- Communities along the lakeshore are bracing for a potential flood. 

In 2017, Lake Ontario reached record levels causing millions of dollars in flood damage throughout our area. This time around, leaders and business owners are preparing earlier to reduce potential damage. 


Lake levels are not where they were in 2017 but the International Joint Commission has warned the levels of Lake Ontario will rise soon as parts of the area expect significant rainfall.

Tom Frank, owner of Captain Jack's Goodtime Tavern, has been in business in Sodus Point close to 13 years. He will never forget 2017. 

"We had 17 pumps running in the restaurant," Frank said. 

His spot sits on Lake Ontario and the flooding in 2017 made that year the most difficult year for business.

"We lost a third of our revenue in 2017." 

Frank said there were thousands of sandbags stacked around his property and they still had significant damage but since then, they have made changes.

"From pumps being in the concrete to boarding going around instead of all the sandbags," Frank said. "We've done a lot of preparing if you will."

With the threat of flooding back again, Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell says the village is also stepping up to prepare the materials necessary to help prevent damage. 

McDowell says the village will be working with Wayne County Emergency Management and state officials to implement the plan.

"The pumps will be laid out differently. No roads will be closed," McDowell said. "We've made all the wastewater treatment repairs that caused the trouble in 2017, so even if we get to the same levels we don't expect the same kind of trouble."

The IJC says they will continue to monitor the levels and adjust outflows to balance Lake Ontario.

News10NBC is told the mayor will be hosting a meeting next Tuesday to get everyone on the same page about the flooding plan. McDowell says crews will likely start stacking up sandbags on Wednesday. 


Kaci Jones

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