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Gov. Cuomo asks IJC to keep letting water out of Lake Ontario

Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to the International Joint Commission (IJC), asking for them to let the maximum amount of water out of Lake Ontario to cut the flooding risk to people living along the shoreline. (WSTM photo - 2017)

(WHAM) - The water levels of Lake Ontario are expected to rise by at least six inches in the next month.

As local governments and state agencies prepare for potential flooding, Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to the International Joint Commission (IJC), asking for them to let the maximum amount of water out of Lake Ontario to cut the flooding risk to people living along the shoreline.

The letter to the U.S. Chair of the IJC requests that the agency "adopt a different course of action" to avoid the devastating flooding that happened along lakeshore communities in 2017.

The IJC is scheduled to decrease in outflows Thursday ahead of the shipping and navigation season.

Several state agencies are being directed to take proactive measures to help homeowners, business owners and local governments in case of flooding this year on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

"After the disastrous flooding situations on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River last year, it is critical that we remain vigilant and take whatever measures are necessary for ensuring that history does not repeat itself," Governor Cuomo said.

Cuomo said Thursday he is working with the multi-agency Lake Ontario Rapid Response Team, which includes experts from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Police, Department of Financial Services, and the Office of General Services, along with county and local government agencies.

Nearly 250,000 sandbags, sandbagging equipment, Aqua Dams, and other flooding resources are being readies in case flooding arises early.

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