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International board decides to increase outflow of water from Lake Ontario

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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.

“They decided, since this outflow sustained for a long period of time, has not been undertaken by this board before,  they want to test the impacts for a 72 hour period to monitor the effects it may be having on any of our stakeholders.”

Heer says the strong outflow of water from Lake Ontario can have an impact on the  navigation of vessels along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Heer does say any relief for shoreline residents is also dependent on the weather.

“The lake, because of its large volume and surface area, has a slow response time and this is also going to depend on precipitation as well . The weather conditions in the future are very important for the decline of Lake Ontario,” Heer told WXXI News.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week did predict that water levels across the Great Lakes will remain high for the duration of summer, and even into the fall.

The lake and river levels are controlled in part through the regulation of a hydropower dam.

Copyright 2017 WXXI News

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's Director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.
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