IJC report: Weather, not Plan 2014, cause for flooding along Lake Ontario

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. – A newly-released report blames the weather – and not a controversial lake level plan – for devastating flooding along Lake Ontario last year.

Some property owners whom 13WHAM spoke with Thursday say they’re not surprised by the findings of the International Joint Commission, the group which came up with the controversial Plan 2014 to regulate lake levels. But they worry future flooding is a real possibility.

The IJC says, with record precipitation last year, it carefully monitored the water levels daily on both sides of the dam in Canada. The commission says this actually kept water levels lower than they would have been without regulation.

The report concluded that extreme weather and water supply conditions were the top reasons water levels rose to record levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Those who own property along the lake believe the IJC didn’t regulate the water early enough, and that Plan 2014 did contribute to the devastating flooding.

“They need to get a bit smarter about how they’re interpreting their own rules, because it’s clear to us now that the rules need to be modified,” said Wayne Knox, president of the Beattie Beach Association.

“Apparently, they don’t want to take any blame at all,” said Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich. “But the fact is, they maybe have learned, and hopefully, going forward, they will realize they should be letting out higher volume sooner than they had in 2017.”

The Town of Greece is already making changes to combat any future flooding. Shut-offs have been put on storm sewers, and a berm is also being put by the ponds on Edgemere Drive – both to prevent road flooding.

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