Lake Ontario water levels on the rise

Lake Ontario water levels on the rise

April 22, 2019 06:19 PM

LAKE ONTARIO (WHEC) -- In the spring of 2017 we saw severe flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline due to high water levels.  

According to the latest update from the U.S. Army Core of Engineers, this spring, water levels could be as high or even higher.

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"We've seen a dramatic rise of the water over the past seven to 10 days due to the fact they have been cutting back on the amount of water they have been releasing from the lake," said Jonathon Shultz, Niagara County Emergency Services.

In fact, as of Monday, we are at 246.86 feet. The peak in 2017 was 249.1 feet. 

That means if things continue to progress, we could reach levels like what we saw in 2017. So now preparations are being made in case we reach that threshold as Jonathon mentioned. 

"We can get resources in in less than twenty four hours with sand bags and sand bag machines. Many of our residents since 2017 have had the opportunity to harden their lake shores and build up the lakes shores to prepare for this if it happened again," added Shultz.

You may be asking, why don't they just let more water out of the dam upstream?

Well, the issue is flooding in Canada. Parts of Quebec are already seeing high water levels and people are being evacuated due to rising water levels.

That is why outflow from Lake Ontario has been stopped and why now our levels are rising. Basically they plugged the drain and we are feeling the effects of it. This is very similar to what we saw in 2017.  

If water levels still rise and we get strong northerly winds again, we could see flooding here in Monroe, Wayne and Orleans counties. 

Our First Alert Weather team will be monitoring the water levels for Lake Ontario and we'll keep you updated on News10NBC if that setup returns again.


Robert Speta

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