Waves of frustration: Sandbagging efforts continue along Lake Ontario

May 24, 2019 06:14 PM

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WHEC) — Flooding has now become a reality for people who live along the shores of Lake Ontario. The town of Irondequoit has issued a state of emergency, which could affect your Memorial Day plans if you're a boater. 

The Monroe County Office of Emergency Management arranged for help from the Army National Guard and Naval Militia. They're building a 400-foot wall around this section of homes on Bay Shore Boulevard in Irondequoit, but that's just part of the plan to keep homes from flooding.


Irondequoit town leaders and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office are asking for your assistance. 

"We're asking of boaters what you'll always ask of operate safely at reasonable speeds and what not," Monroe County Sheriff's Office Deputy Michael Witthuhn said. "This year especially, just like 2017. We have excessive amounts of high waters. A person is responsible for whatever happens with his wake." 

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start ofboating season. Irondequoit's Commissioner of Public Works Bob Kiley says the state of emergency order has reduced speeds on Irondequoit Bay to 5 mph and nearshore-only idling is allowed. 

"Its important for the safety of the have floating debris along the lake and throughout the bay," Kiley said. "But also it's for the safety of people who live along the bay. Those wakes will break sandbags if they're not properly constructed...will break sandbags if they don't have plastic around them."

Witthuhn says not obeying the law could carry heavy penalties.

"Normally a speeding ticket is much like a violation on the road," Witthuhn said. "However, with the emergency order, it's a misdemeanor and with a misdemeanor, you can actually do jail time."

If you want to familiarize yourself with all of the boating rules in light of the high water levels, News10NBC's Pat Taney will have that for you in his Good Question Monday morning on News10NBC Today. 


Lynette Adams

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