Lake Ontario

Payne Horning / WRVO News

State lawmakers say help is finally here for the property owners who have experienced damage from flooding along Lake Ontario this year. Community leaders are organizing residents as the state prepares to distribute the recovery funding.

Rep. John Katko / Facebook File Photo

Several New York representatives are joining the calls for the federal government to declare the flooding along Lake Ontario a disaster. The move would bring federal funding and assistance to the recovery process.

Constellation Energy Group

The historically high water levels in Lake Ontario this year have threatened homeowners, municipalities and nuclear power plants - almost triggering emergency action at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility in Oswego County.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

U.S. Geological Survey scientists are installing equipment along the shores of Lake Ontario to better monitor water levels and understand the impact from this year's flooding.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not signing a bill the New York State Legislature passed last week that would provide grants for flood victims along Lake Ontario. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

State lawmakers have passed legislation that could provide financial relief for those affected by Lake Ontario flooding. The new bill was approved after weeks of debate between the state Senate and Assembly over how much to spend and whom should be be eligible

WXXI News File Photo

It's another wet week in much of central and northern New York, offering no relief to those experiencing flooding along Lake Ontario and in the area.

The National Weather Service says rainfall in the region is several inches above average this year, for the month of May especially. Last month was the second-wettest May on record for the Watertown area and the third-wettest in the Syracuse area.

But National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Welch says that's not the main cause of the flooding many communities in the region are experiencing.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

As residents along Lake Ontario try to clean up from this year's flooding, state officials are warning about the health risks the situation poses. 

The Oswego County Health Department is offering resident's free Tdap -- or tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine -- shots for those affected by the flooding.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Spring flooding along Lake Ontario is damaging many homes along the shoreline, and it’s hurting people who have businesses there. Now, business owners say it will take a long time to recover -- even after the floodwaters go away.

Marge’s is a little bungalow bar in Rochester. Inside, there's a small wooden bar and a few games, but you don't go to Marge’s to stay inside.

Out back is a big stretch of beach looking out over Lake Ontario. There's a tiki hut and frozen drink machine, and live music on the weekends.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

State lawmakers are moving to provide grants to property owners affected by the flooding from Lake Ontario and this year's high rainfall, but they disagree about how to best address the situation.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Public beaches along the Lake Ontario shoreline are under water, which may put a damper on some summer plans.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Summer is approaching, but many of New York state's beaches along Lake Ontario are closed.

Cathy Goodnough

Lake Ontario is now 33 inches above its long-term average and it's not yet at its peak. That sustained flooding is threatening residents along the shorelines and scientists say it is also taking a toll on the environment.

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."

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Water levels on Lake Ontario are still going up and still have not yet peaked, but property owners already have been assessing the 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.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The continued swelling of Lake Ontario is offering little relief to shoreline residents in central New York. Water levels on Lake Ontario have risen more than 9 inches since May 1, and are at the highest level since the 1950s, before water levels started being regulated.

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.

Old Fort Niagara pummeled by Lake Ontario flood waters

May 4, 2017
Old Fort Niagara / French Castle

Concerns are growing that the historic structures at Old Fort Niagara could be at risk of damage from Lake Ontario's flood waters. The fort is located at the mouth of the Niagara River, where it meets the lake.

This week, the staff at Fort Niagara noticed several trees were missing from the bank, just east of the fort. On closer investigation, they determined that rising waters and winds caused a portion of the embankment to collapse into the lake, taking the trees with it.

Payne Horning / WRVO

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.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Powerful winds and thunderstorms are mixing with the high water levels in Lake Ontario to wreak havoc on homeowners along the shoreline. It's prompting New York state to declare a state of emergency for Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and other counties along Lake Ontario.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Lake Ontario is 20 inches higher than normal, and New York towns along the south shore are filling sandbags and making other flood preparations.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Water levels continue to rise on Lake Ontario, and the National Weather Service has issued a Lakeshore Flood Warning for Oswego and Jefferson counties from 4 p.m. Tuesday until 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

Jason Smith / WRVO News File Photo

More communities along the shoreline of Lake Ontario are being threatened as water levels continue to rise. As of April 24, water levels are more than 20 inches above the average for this time of year.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

With Lake Ontario's waters continuing to rise. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed state agencies to assist communities for possible flooding. 

More than 130,000 sandbags have been deployed to the region, as residents prepare for flooding in low-elevation areas.

In some areas, sandbags have been positioned in locations that experienced flooding in the past few days and weeks. Other state assets have been staged at the regional stockpile in Monroe County.

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.

Jason Smith / WRVO News

Residents along the southern shore of Lake Ontario are trying to protect their property from potential flooding as water levels continue to rise.

Edgewater Resources

After a year of gathering input, Edgewater Resources has unveiled its final plan for how to transform Oswego's waterfront area along Lake Ontario. The consultant's latest draft calls for two flat rock beaches, an expansion of the marina and overhauling the pier with an elevated sand beach, restaurants and a recreational green space for community events.

Edgewater President Greg Weykamp says it delivers on the community's desire for more access to Lake Ontario.

Payne Horning

For years, the Sea Grant program has helped Americans learn about the oceans, the Great Lakes and other waters. Now, President Donald Trump wants to stop funding it.

That has some New York educators worried -- including a group of middle and high school science teachers who recently gathered for a Great Lakes training seminar. At SUNY Oswego's Rice Creek Field Station, they clustered around bins full of classroom activities they can implement into their lessons about the Great Lakes. 

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