Lake Ontario Prepares for Flooding

New York State is taking all necessary precautions to prepare for flooding slated to hit Lake Ontario. Following the 2017 floods that hit the area and caused $100 million in rebuilding efforts, Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t taking any chances.

On April 29, Gov. Cuomo announced the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services had deployed thousands of extra sandbags; six 6-inch pumps; 1,500 feet of 6-inch hose; and 100 feet of Aquadam to the Village of Sodus Bay. Additionally, 20 members of New York National Guard were on standby and other state agencies were on alert and ready to help communities in the local area affected by flooding.

Severe flooding in Canada caused the International Joint Commission to lower the amount of water flowing from the Moses-Saunders Dam on the St. Lawrence River, in an attempt to minimize the impact. At present, the water level of the lake has risen to more than one foot above average.

In early 2019, Gov. Cuomo asked the IJC to maximize outflows from the Lake Ontario system to help avoid a repeat of the 2017 flooding endured by thousands of New York residents. Since 2017, the Department of Environmental Conservation has issued more than 3,000 permits for emergency actions and shoreline protections to combat the impact of high water levels along the shores of Lake Ontario, Lower Niagara River, and St. Lawrence River.

2017 Flooding of Lake Ontario

From May to July 2017, Lake Ontario suffered record-breaking maximum monthly average water levels. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded lake gauges of 249.2 at Olcott, 249.1 at Rochester, and 249.0 at Oswego and St. Vincent. The impact of these high-water levels was severe, flooding thousands of homes and businesses, as well as eroding miles of shoreline along Lake Ontario’s southern and eastern regions.

Preparing for the Flood

On May 5, Gov. Cuomo traveled to Oswego to assess the situation. Speaking from a state police boat, he said high winds expected next weekend could cause treacherous waves that lead to damage.

He revealed the eight impacted counties will have received nearly 800,000 sandbags, 15 sandbaggers, hundreds of pumps, and 920 feet of Aquadam by that afternoon. This includes more than 100,000 sandbags and two sandbaggers sent directly to Oswego County.

“As we get ready for this possible emergency, we are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst,” Gov. Cuomo said.  

Anyone who owns property along the shoreline and needs sandbags, Aquadam or other resources should get in touch with their local municipality or county emergency management office. Searching for reliable testing equipment? Eco-Rental Solutions offers friendly service and cost-effective rates. Request a quote online today or stop by one of our seven rental locations in New York, Illinois, California, or Missouri to find out what we can