IJC on Plan 2014: Changing or suspending the plan will be part of 'a longer-term process'

June 12, 2019 07:11 PM

GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) -- It's the best news homeowners along Lake Ontario have heard in a long time.

According to the Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich, the International Joint Commission is considering suspending the three-year-old plan Lake Ontario homeowners blame for their flooding. 


In a statement Wednesday, the IJC said it's going to meet to look at the "performance of Plan 2014."

It says changing or suspending the plan will be part of "a longer-term process."

On Wednesday, Lake Ontario tied the record, set on June 6, for the highest it's ever been.

Now, there are all kinds of arguments over what causes the flooding.

A lot of the homeowners here think it's the water maintenance plan called Plan 2014.

Here's what we know.

Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich says Congressman Chris Collins told him that IJC Chairwoman Jane Corwin is going to call a special meeting and ask to suspend Plan 2014.

News10NBC Cheif Investigative Reporter Berekely Brean: "What exactly did Congressman Collins tell you?"

Bill Reilich, Greece supervisor: "Well, I called him and I said 'is it true what I heard?' And he said, 'what did you hear?' And I said, 'that an emergency meeting was going to be called and they were going to discuss these two issues'. He says, 'yes.' He says, 'that's my understanding and that should be happening.'"

On Wednesday, News10NBC was invited into the backyard of Craig Young.

He built a wall of sandbags. His property is protected from winds that come from the north west.

Brean: "But when the wind comes from the other way, that's when you were in trouble?" 

Craig Young, homeowner: "Yeah it just rolls right in here."

Brean: "The thought of suspending Plan 2014 as a homeowner up here means what to you?"

Young: "I won't have to sandbag next year. I think it's the right thing to do."

Plan 2014, which started in 2017, allows the water level to get higher than the old plan which went back to the 1950s.

The goal was increase wetlands, fish populations, create longer shipping seasons and more hydropower.

When members of the IJC came to the lakeshore in Greece two weeks ago they witnessed high winds and flooding.

News10NBC tried to speak to Corwin Wednesday but she was unavailable .

This is what she said on May 28. 

Jane Corwin: "If this is the new normal in terms of weather, we are going to have to revisit the plan for sure."

Brean: "When the commissioners were here it was a bad flooding day. Do you think that had an impact on them?"

Reilich: "Oh I think so. The fact of the matter is they saw how bad it was. We had a few residents not happy with them and expressed that towards them. So I think they're seeing firsthand the devastation that has occurred as a result of this plan."

News10NBC asked the IJC if they had the meeting set. 

The answer we received was sometime this week.

They have to get all six commissioners together.


Berkeley Brean

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