Greece supervisor: Lake levels to peak in mid-June

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Lake Ontario’s water levels are creeping up. On Wednesday, Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich addressed the public with a reminder to stay on high alert.

Levels are less than a foot away from 248 feet, which can be concerning, he said. Levels are forecasted to peak around mid-June, for about a week or two.

The good news is, officials are not expecting levels like 2017 or 2019.

“We can probably survive the high water, but we can’t survive the high water with the winds,” said homeowner Tim Kelly. He’s lived on Edgemere Drive for over 30 years.

This community has been through a lot in previous years, he said.

“I’ve been through ‘92, when we had a high water situation,” he said. “Obviously 2017 and 2019, and going back to ‘73 when we had Hurricane Agnes, it was, you know, a disaster.”

But again, Reilich said forecasts aren’t predicting anything near previous years.

“I think we’re in much better shape to deal with whatever comes our way,” he said. “But again, I think we’re going to be okay this year. All the indicators are that we will be, even though the water is higher than it was last year.”

Kelly is also chairperson of commissioners for Lakeshore Fire District. He said they’re preparing to handle phone calls from residents who may need extra help.

“We’re going to get those calls. Water in the basement- you name it. Not a lot we can do in some of those situations, but people call 911, we’re going to be the first out,” said Kelly.

The takeaway? Don’t panic, but be prepared.

Assess your break-wall if you have one. Make sure you have sandbags and a sumpump if you need them.

Reilich said they will be there to assist anyone who needs it.

“It is mother nature. And even the best weatherman cannot predict the weather very much into the future,” said Reilich

“When we get to that peak, we’re just hoping we don’t get that long sustained storm, as the supervisor said. That’s going to be the single biggest issue,” says Kelly.

Reilich said the town has done a lot of work since 2017 and 2019, including handing out nearly a quarter million sandbags from the state. They also installed shut-off valves to prevent overflow into the streets.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday she’s working closely with state agencies to monitor levels.