State Officials Inspect Flood Preparations Along Lake Ontario Shoreline

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – New York state officials have been touring the Lake Ontario shoreline this week, surveying the potential for any serious flooding problems that may occur due to high water levels.

May 9, 2019 – Sodus Point, NY – State Director of Emergency Management Michael Kopy, Commissioner of New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Patrick Murphy and Assistant Commissioner of New York State Department of Transportation Patrick Meredith provided updates on preparations in anticipation of potential Lake Ontario flooding. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

The NYS Commissioner of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Patrick Murphy, says that right now, the Lake Ontario level is about 6 to 7 inches below the level in 2017 when there was widespread flooding, but he says the lake level is predicted to rise.

In the meantime, he suggests lakeshore residents make some preparations, including using sandbags where appropriate.

“They’re not an answer to every homeowner’s issues that they have at the lakeshore, but at least building up a barrier to keep the water at least restricted is one of the things we’re doing,” Murphy said.

Murphy said that  the state has been helping out lakeshore communities with things like sandbags, water pumps and aquadams, which are temporary barriers designed to help impede the flow of water onto the lakeshore.

He said one advantage that hopefully the communities have compared to two years ago, is that this time, they have already been taking a number of steps to deal with potential flooding.

“I think many of the communities are better prepared. There’s a lot of experience from 2017 that’s being used right now to know where those problem areas are and there’s preventive measures going back into those locations,” Murphy said.