Great Lakes Commissioners Survey Flooding In Rochester and Buffalo

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – New Commissioners with the International Joint Commission visited the Rochester and Buffalo areas Tuesday to see some of the flooding caused by high water along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

Commissioner Jane Corwin, surrounded by other commissioners and officials, talks to press after a meeting in Greece. VERONICA VOLK / WXXI NEWS

Laura Jacket lives in North Greece, right on the water, and all year she’s been watching the lake climb slowly higher.

“If you go up right now up to Edgemere Drive and Long Pond and Lowden, you’ll cry if you care about it at all. Because the road is shut down and the water is coming through people’s houses and it’s up to my house now on North Drive.”

So when Jacket heard the new commissioners with the IJC were coming to Greece to see the lake for themselves, she had to go make sure her voice was heard.

“I talked to my neighbors to tell them about this meeting and they were too busy trying to save their property to come to this meeting. That’s what’s going on right now.”

But the public wasn’t allowed access to the commissioners themselves. In a brief press event between the meeting and a tour of the damage, newly appointed commissioner Jane Corwin said they’ve been talking to the Army Corps and other scientists about the flooding and its causes.

“Is this the new normal?” asked Corwin. “Or is this just an extended flooding event, like we had in 1993 or in the 1970s?”

Corwin said the answer to that question will determine how they move forward.

She did not say they would repeal water management Plan 2014, which is what some of the residents are calling for.

Lake Ontario is nearing the level seen in 2017, when flooding affected much of the shoreline.