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Lakefront damage keeps contractor busy for months to come

(WHAM photo)

GREECE, NY (WHAM)-An Edgmere Drive couple is hoping water levels at Lake Ontario won’t rise as high as they did last year.

“At one point we measured about seven to eight inches in the basement" said Patty Wilson.

Patty and her husband, Richard, have lived along the lake for more than 20 years. However, they said last year’s storms were something they had never experienced before.

“It was terrifying," said Patty Wilson.

The Wilsons said sandbags once lined their home to protect it from further damage. “Last year, we did mostly to keep water out from our neighbors," said Richard Wilson.

He said only a small portion of their break wall was broken and cost them about $900.

Just a few homes down from where they live, their neighbors weren't so lucky. Damage to their break wall was more severe.

“Every hour counts right now, so I can't afford not to work," said Chris Foote from Trident Shoreline Environmental.

Foote is a marine contractor who is working to put a gabion wall.

He said last year’s storm emptied out the rocks that helped protect the home, leaving it open to damage.

“With the gabions, the waves pass through the rocks and the idea is the energy is more slowly brought down," said Foote.

He said he's booked with jobs for at least the next six months.

“I literally have hundreds of contracts out there, floating around, waiting for money to become available," he added.

Jobs like the one he is on now involve him working to set up panels while waves from the lake come crashing in. “We are just so busy, it's like we are being pulled in a million directions right now," he said.

For now, the Wilsons are holding off on putting up any sandbags around their home.

“This year, hopefully, we won't need them. So far, it doesn't look like we'll need any yet," said Richard Wilson.

According to the International Joint Commission, Lake Ontario dropped three inches in March.

Officials said the current outflow is as high as possible without posing any dangers in Canada.

For more information about marine contracting, click here.

For more information on where to get sandbags, click here.

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