International joint commission

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

An international panel is asking businesses and property owners along Lake Ontario to complete an online survey about flood damage from record water levels this spring and summer.

The International Joint Commission says the survey takes about 10 to 25 minutes. The deadline to take it is Dec. 31.

The joint U.S.-Canadian panel says the survey gathers information on the extent of flooding, erosion, damage to shoreline structures and damage to homes and businesses.

Along Lake Ontario shoreline, high water and damage persist

Dec 2, 2017
Caitlyn Whyte / Great Lakes Today

As winter nears, Lake Ontario is still much higher than normal. And residents are shoring up walls of sandbags for protection against high waves.

ceedub13 / Flickr, Creative Commons

The government body that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario is reducing the outflows to the St. Lawrence River. The International Joint Commission (IJC) says water levels have dropped rapidly, down 12 inches since the peak in late May. That's drawing some criticism from shoreline residents who say the move is premature.

Upset by continued flooding on the Lake Ontario shoreline, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to shake up the bi-national group that helps to regulate the Great Lakes.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

A growing number of New York lawmakers are saying this year's historic flooding along Lake Ontario was not only caused by Plan 2014, but also by the execution of it.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo went to the town of Greece on the the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario -- one of the areas that has been hardest hit by the recent flooding.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Plan 2014 is unpopular with some residents of the southern shore of Lake Ontario, because it lets the water levels get higher, more frequently, and potentially for longer periods of time, which could cause damage to lakefront property owners.

So it makes sense that flooded homeowners like Tom Piekunka in Sodus Point are blaming the change in regulation for the change in their environment.

"This is what they want. They want the higher water. We're just collateral damage."

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Flooding continues along the Lake Ontario shoreline and there’s no end in sight. Many residents and New York’s governor say the solution lies with a huge dam that straddles the U.S- Canada border. But the reality is not so simple.

Tom Piekunka stands in an inch of water in his backyard in Sodus Point. Water from Lake Ontario is still on the rise, and it's creeping closer and closer to the bright yellow two-story cottage where his family has lived for generations.

"If this was just a house I wouldn't care," he says. "But, it's a home."

Dale Currier / Oswego County Emergency Management Office

The water level in Lake Ontario is now higher than is been in more than 60 years, before water levels started being regulated in the 1950s.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Due to heavy rains, Lake Ontario is overflowing its banks. Some New Yorkers want to lower the lake level by releasing water from a dam downstream. But the International Joint Commission, which controls the dam, says that will bring more flooding to Montreal. And the city is already reeling.

According to Jacob Bruxer at the IJC, Quebec is in for an historic weekend. The region has already been dealing with high water levels and flash flooding due to heavy rains over the last week and now it's projected to get worse.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Residents who live along the shoreline of Lake Ontario have been trying to stay ahead of rising water levels that are threatening their properties.