Lake Ontario

This spring's heavy rain in the Lake Ontario region had quite an impact on homeowners, but it also affected the water offshore. The rainfall overwhelmed sewage systems in cities around the lake, and pushed tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage into the water.


WBFO's Mike Desmond

Preservation of the environment dominated Tuesday's celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day at the Buffalo History Museum. It was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

WRVO News

The government body that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario is reducing the outflows to the St. Lawrence River. The International Joint Commission says water levels have dropped rapidly, down 12 inches since the peak in late May. However, that is drawing some criticism from shoreline residents who say the move is premature.

Two replica Christopher Columbus ships are sailing across the Great Lakes this summer, offering visitors a chance to learn about the famous explorer's voyages. But some say the ships only tell half of a story.


For a lot of people and business around Lake Ontario, flooding put summer on hold. Now that the water is going down, businesses are coming back, including an amusement park on one of Toronto's harbor islands.


USGS, FEMA assessing Lake Ontario flooding impact

Jul 13, 2017

U.S. Geological Survey scientists are using drones, radar and water-pressure sensors to track the effects of flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline to help emergency managers track and respond to historic levels of flooding.

Upset by continued flooding on the Lake Ontario shoreline, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to shake up the bi-national group that helps to regulate the Great Lakes.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an emergency relief bill into effect that will aid communities that suffered flood damage as the result of high Lake Ontario waters. New York State is also pursuing additional help from the federal government.


Historically high water levels on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River are presenting the shipping industry with both challenges and opportunities. 


Flooding along Lake Ontario is still causing problems in Toronto, the biggest city in Canada, particularly for the picturesque harbor islands.


New York Congressmen who represent the southern shore of Lake Ontario say a U.S.-Canada regulatory body should pay for damages caused by weeks of flooding.

Rep. Chris Collins said the International Joint Commission's new management plan for the lake is "a disaster." Rep. John Katko said the plan has "wreaked havoc."

The war of words between N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the International Joint Commission is continuing,  as residents along Lake Ontario deal with weeks of flooding.

In a letter to Cuomo, the IJC says flooding was triggered by heavy spring rains. And it rejects his suggestion that preventive counter-measures -- like releasing more water through a downstream dam -- should have been made.

Great Lakes Today's Veronica Volk

Two area state lawmakers say they have reached agreement on bipartisan legislation to provide $90 million in financial relief for people living along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River seaway.

Governor Cuomo stopped in shoreline communities in Greece and Sodus Point to unveil some new technology designed to save homes and businesses from further damage from high water levels on Lake Ontario. 

Damage he says is due in part to a late response from the board that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, the International Joint Commission.

Cuomo says the state is testing two "Aqua Dams," water filled synthetic device that, when it works, acts like a portable dam.

There will be more water flowing out of Lake Ontario in an effort to help ease the recent flooding conditions along the south shore.

The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board agreed this week to increase the water flowing out of the lake at a greater rate. Secretary for the board, Arun Heer says this will be the highest outflow ever released from the lake on a sustained basis.

Because of that, Heer says officials will closely monitor the situation for a few days to see if there are any major adverse impacts.

The US Army Corps of Engineers predicts that water across the Great Lakes will remain high for the duration of summer, and even into the fall.

The Corps says these high levels are due to above average precipitation on the lakes. Forecasted levels on Superior, Michigan-Huron, and Erie will be the highest since the 1990s.

Lake Ontario levels will also remain high, after setting a record for highest average lake levels for the month of May. 

Communities along Lake Ontario -- ranging from Toronto to tiny Sodus Point, N.Y. -- have seen flooding for weeks.

Online Screen Grab / WBFO News

The ongoing lake shore erosion in Youngstown is now threatening one of the buildings at Old Fort Niagara.

IJC to maintain Lake Ontario levels

Jun 9, 2017

The bi-national organization that regulates shared water between the United States and Canada has decided to maintain outflows from Lake Ontario, which are already near a record high, for at least another week.

WBFO News File Photo

The National Weather Service has issued a lakeshore flood watch for Niagara and Orleans counties.

WBFO News File Photo

The high water levels on Lake Ontario this spring came with little warning. Experts with the US Army Corps of Engineers say the substantial precipitation this spring is largely responsible for the quick rise.

Kathleen Thomas

New York State is making $7 million available to help homeowners recover from flooding along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines.

Updated Friday, May 26, at 4:45 p.m.

The region braced for a long stretch of rain and showers -- weather that could contribute to more flooding.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for rain or a chance or showers every day through Thursday. 

And the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River board, which controls outflows from a big dam, says it be "several weeks" before the lake is significantly lower.

WBFO file photo/Angelica Morrison

New York State is putting forth millions of dollars to assist municipalities affected by rising water levels along the Lake Ontario shoreline. If a bill passes the State Senate this week, private property owners may see some relief, too.


WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

Officials in Niagara County are extending the State of Emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

Finally, some good news for towns that been flooded for weeks by high waters in Lake Ontario.

The lake-wide average water level has remained at 75.85 m for two days in a row, says the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, which controls a huge dam downstream.


WNED-TV

A local state senator wants New York's constitution amended to guarantee the rights of residents to hunt and fish, joining 21 other states to enshrine those outdoor rights in their state charters.

WRVO's Payne Horning

As water levels on Lake Ontario continue to rise, state lawmakers are working on financial assistance to homeowners still assessing flood damage.

No, according to Frank Sciremammano.

Sciremammano isn't an apologist for the new plan that regulates lake levels. He acknowledges that it could contribute to problems in the future. But he attributes this spring's flooding to record rainfall -- and some moves made this winter to manage ice.

Flooding continues for a second week along Lake Ontario and there’s no end in sight. Many residents and New York’s governor say the solution lies with a huge dam that straddles the U.S- Canada border. But the reality is not so simple.


Veronica Volk

Along Lake Ontario, communities are still battling flood waters.

A big dam nearby has started letting more water out of the lake and into the lower St. Lawrence River. But that doesn't mean lakefront property owners will see immediate results.
 


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