IJC water level forecast spelling good news for those along lake shore

Local News

GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — From Wayne Knox’s vantage point right on Lake Ontario in Greece, you can see how easily things could go wrong if the waves surged over the shore.

Water levels are still high, but fortunately for Knox and fellow lake shore residents, the International Joint Commission, the body monitoring the lake’s water levels, is not forecasting the same flooding as in 2017 and 2019.

“I think this is going to be good news for us,” said Knox, “because we’ve really had a lot of damage, and a lot of breakwalls were rebuilt all along the beach here.”

MORE: Why science is projecting no Lake Ontario flooding this year

“While Lake Ontario’s water level is currently well above average, improving conditions are the result of much more moderate weather and water supply conditions this year, as well as actions taken by the Board to increase Lake Ontario outflows and help the system recover faster following extreme water level periods,” the IJC said in a statement Tuesday.

Bill Reilich, the Greece Town Supervisor, supports increasing outflow past the limits allowed under Plan 2014.

“We’ve exceeded the outflows every single day opposed to what the plan called for. And as a matter of fact in Jan, Feb, March of this year, we had record volumes of outflow of water from Lake Ontario, numbers they’d never seen in history,” said Reilich.

The water level, however, is still above average, according to the IJC. That means, theoretically, strong winds headed toward the shore could cause water to splash beyond the bank.

To the east, Dave McDowell, the Sodus Point Mayor, provided this written comment to News 8:

“While I do think the IJC and the River Board helped in 2020, they missed a huge opportunity in the fall to reduce the water at least 6 inches. We need them to take this approach 12 months a year, not just when shipping is not running. It sounds like that may happen this year.”

Dave McDowell, Sodus Point Mayor

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