Sodus Point flood concerns rising along Lake Ontario
Sodus Point, NY - The water is already starting to run over along parts of Lake Ontario and Sodus Bay in Sodus Point, and the problems could just be starting.
The water levels on the lake are expected to rise for at least another month, according to forecasts.
Sodus Point Village Mayor Chris Tertinek said Tuesday the village hasn't reached flood stage yet.
"We don't know when it's going to happen, this week or next week, but it's going to happen sooner or later," said Tertinek.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the lake is expected to rise another 11 inches by the middle of May.
Throughout the village, crews worked to drop off sandbags for neighbors to line their homes.
Robby Cuyler was hard at work, helping out a friend.
"I thought it was the right thing to do. I won't be the first, and I won't be the last to do something like this," said Cuyler.
The reason why the lake levels are high is a point of contention in Sodus Point. Some claim new regulations as part of a new agreement between Canada and the United States called Plan 2014 is to blame. It was put into effect in December by former President Obama. The plan limits the amount of water released from Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River in Canada.
"Instead of stopping the water at 247.3 feet above seal level, now it stops them at triggers," said Tertinek.
The Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday some of those triggers have already been met, and outflow has been increased multiple times.
Still, with potentially weeks of rising water to go, the village is left to wait and see.
"If we get 15-18 inches higher then it's going to start infiltrating the sewer system," said Tertinek. "If that happens we're going to have to shut off the water."
The Army Corps of Engineers said under the previous plan the water level would only be a couple inches lower right now. A spokesperson told 13 WHAM if the levels get worse, the International Joint Commission that adopted the changes will meet and discuss emergency options.