Monroe County leaders lay out plan for lake flooding response

High water levels on Lake Ontario leaving docks in Irondequoit Bay almost completely submerged. (WHAM Photo)

(WHAM) - Monroe County officials held a news conference Friday morning to discuss response efforts to flooding concerns on Lake Ontario.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn and several town supervisors were on hand at Mayer's Marina in Webster.

Water levels in the Irondequoit Bay currently sits over a foot and a half higher than usual, and homeowners have been told to expect another 12 inches by mid-May.

The latest Army Corps of Engineers report states water levels in Lake Ontario are up 15 inches from this point in March.

The level is also 11 inches higher compared to April 2016.

"Further, there is an expectation that the water will continue to rise in the coming months and the water could rise another 9-11 inches," Dinolfo said.

Dinolfo pointed to not only the homes and businesses that are being impacted, but also roadways and waterways in the area. Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn issued a warning for people on Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario to stay 500 feet away from the shoreline.

Local leaders are encouraging people who living along the lake shore to put sandbags around their homes to protect the foundations.

On Friday afternoon, a letter from Monroe County government leaders will go to the White House, urging them to take action and immediately let water out before any more damage is caused.

The letter also requests that the federal government provide restitution and economic relief for homeowners and business owners.

The International Joint Commission is the group behind Plan 2014, which enacted new regulations for how water is released from Lake Ontario. Yesterday that group said their plan is not to blame for the flooding, citing fluctuating temperatures during the winter, and a wet spring as the reasons why the levels now are so high.

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