Lake Ontario flooding 2019

Chris Caya WBFO News

With the level of Lake Ontario expected to keep rising, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is declaring a State of Emergency for lakeside communities. Cuomo made the announcement at the Newfane Marina in Olcott Monday.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

There were high clouds, some blue sky and just a touch of warmth in the air along Lake Ontario Sunday in the beach resorts of Olcott and Wilson, but you did not have to look far out on the lake to realize how high the lake is...and rising.

Emily Russell

People along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River continue to be anxious as water laps up on docks and decks across the region. The weekend’s rain didn’t help the situation.

Emily Russell

The Thousand Islands is a major tourist destination, but right now it's flooding. Water levels in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario are higher than average and they’re expected to keep rising.

The threat of high water along the Lake Ontario shoreline is often felt first in low-lying places like Sodus Point.

Village Mayor Dave McDowell says that right now, Sodus Point is about as prepared as it can be.

“We have 40,000 sandbags, give or take, deployed around the low spots of the village, they’re holding; we’ve got National Guard back shoring up a couple of spots on the south side with this heavy south wind, but our streets are all dry, the businesses are all open and thriving,” McDowell said.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and public officials around the state continue to blame the International Joint Committee for the high water levels in Lake Ontario. While IJC critics point to Plan 2014 being the root of the problem, other Great Lakes experts say Mother Nature is playing a bigger role. So what happens next? WBFO’s Nick Lippa visited Olcott to speak with residents and officials about the issue.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Officials in Niagara and Orleans Counties are closely monitoring the rising level of Lake Ontario. If there is flooding the counties may declare states of emergency.

Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to hammer the organization that controls water levels on Lake Ontario as water levels continue to rise.

Around Sodus Point you can already see the effects of high water levels. Take Arney’s Marina on the bay -- their service dock is underwater, and a pump runs constantly to keep water out of the building.

Mayor Dave McDowell says they filled hundreds of sandbags Wednesday and are going to start setting them up around the village next week. He's also declaring a state of emergency this week in order to set up equipment like pumps and hoses throughout town.

James Morgan

Major flooding in Canada is still slowing efforts to relieve high water in Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Hoping to avoid a repeat of the flooding which caused extensive property damage and forced an economically important beach to close two years ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo joined state and local officials in Niagara County Wednesday morning to discuss the strategy for holding back the rising waters of Lake Ontario.

Mike Groll, Office of Gov. Cuomo

Water levels in Lake Ontario remain more than a foot above average for this time of year. With rain in the forecast, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed state agencies to begin deploying resources to protect communities along the lake and the St. Lawrence River - from Buffalo to Massena.

State officials say they are on alert and ready for potential Lake Ontario flooding in the coming weeks.

In Sodus Point Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a series of steps the state is taking to prevent flooding in the event of a rain storm later this week.

"We have the National Guard on call, we are starting to deploy a structure called an Aquadam, which is basically a temporary dam that can be put in place along properties," Cuomo said.

Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey

As Lake Ontario waters rise, so does concern along the lake edge about flooding. The lessons of 2017 are being applied as sandbags are moved into place and blow-up Aquadams are put into place.

Veronica Volk File Photo / WXXI News

Two years ago, there was serious flood damage along the Lake Ontario shore, especially in tourist places like Wilson. The water was well above normal and the winds kept coming from the north, pushing the high water even higher onto the shore and into the boating harbors. This year, the water is high and creeping upward, putting Wilson officials on alert again.