Lake Ontario washing away part of some Oswego homes

May 4, 2017

State and local officials hope a new emergency declaration from the governor will improve their response to flooding along Lake Ontario, but the lake is already taking a toll.

Shore Road in Oswego is aptly named, but now the Lake Ontario shoreline is much closer than residents ever expected. High water levels and heavy winds are eroding the limited ground that separates these homes from the lake. Within just a few hours yesterday, it broke the corner of John Miller's concrete break wall.

"That's my patio right there. It's two feet from where it's eroding," Miller said. "We're just hanging on, seeing what happens."

The waves have already washed away one resident's deck and flooded another's crawl space.

Oswego fire fighters are pumping the water out and they are also delivering sand bags to the neighborhood. Fire Chief Randy Griffin says that's thanks in part to the governor's emergency declaration this week for Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga, Wayne and St. Lawrence counties, among others.

"It allows resources to be made available to us if we need them," Griffin said. "It's much easier to get those resources."

Some of those resources include guidance and assistance from state agencies and New York's national guard. Griffin says that's not needed in Oswego right now but they are closely monitoring the situation.