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Good news for flooded towns: Lake Ontario near peak

Flooded house in Hammond
Kathleen Thomas
Flooded house in Hammond

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.Interview on Lake Ontario

Here's the bi-national board's assessment: "Does this mean we've reached its peak? Likely not, but we appear to be close now. If no significant rainfall is received, it now appears that it may rise perhaps another centimetre or two, but should then start to soon decline slowly."

Lake Ontario is flooded -- can this dam help?

The board cautioned that lake levels will remain high for weeks: "It's very important to note that another big rainfall could bring an even higher peak in days or even weeks to come. But the good news is that it appears to be close to its initial peak."

So far, the weather is cooperating. The region may see some thunderstorms Wednesday and Sunday,  the National Weather Service says. But there's no sign of the heavy, extended rains that swelled the lake in April and early May.

As the region continues to deal with flooding, one community on the lake's southern shore is calling for legal action.

Officials in hard-hit Sodus Point want to halt a new bi-national lake management plan, saying it has harmed residents and businesses, the Finger Lakes Times reported.

Monday night, the village board asked Wayne County to seek an injunction against Plan 2014, which many residents and officials blame for the flooding. A board resolution called for “an injunction against the continued implementation of Plan 2014” and that the International Joint Commission revert to the previous lake management plan.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the flooding has been caused by heavy spring rains. The IJC, a bi-national organization, says the plan that took effect in January may have added only an inch or two to the lake level. 

Copyright 2017 Great Lakes Today

Dave Rosenthal
Dave Rosenthal is Managing Editor of Great Lakes Today, a collaboration of public media stations that is led by WBFO, ideastream in Cleveland in WXXI in Rochester, and includes other stations in the region.
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