Lake Ontario Flooding Poses Imminent Threat, Necessitates A Proactive Engagement By State, Federal Governments

An Op-Ed from Assemblymen Bob Oaks (R,C-Macedon) and Will Barclay (R,C,I,Ref-Pulaski)

Lake Ontario southern and eastern shore communities are bracing for flooding as they are faced with lake levels more than 20 inches above the norm, and still rising.

The probability of extensive flooding and significant property loss is extremely high. The imminent threat to south shore communities necessitates a proactive engagement by state and federal officials.

Plan 2014, instituted in January of 2017, doesn’t allow for heightened water levels to be regulated as they had in the past, and now what we feared when we initially opposed this plan has become our immediate reality.

We join with representatives Chris Collins and John Katko, who are urging the Trump Administration to permanently withdraw from Plan 2014 to avoid further damage, and ask Gov. Cuomo to:

1) Continue to help our communities respond to any emergencies that threaten lives and properties along Lake Ontario and its bays and connected waterways;

2) Advocate for federal funding and provide state funding to repair or replace damaged property;

3) Advocate for federal funding and provide state funding for mitigation measures to protect property;

4) Expedite the permitting process through DEC and other oversight agencies for such mitigation measures; and

5) Advocate, with us, to ask the U.S. government to reject Plan 2014.

Inaction is not an option.

Our families and communities are in harm’s way.


  1. I remember, not too long ago, they were talking about artificially raising the water level in the lake.

  2. The only way to alleviate flooding for any of the affected parties would be to helicopter the water to the Atlantic Ocean. Higher release rates at the Moses Saunders Dam would cause catastrophic loss of property downstream.
    What part of “record amounts of rain and snowmelt” don’t people understand? An example of the misinformation was a comment that photos of ice-encased homes along the lake was due to higher lake levels when it was simply a combination of high winds and below freezing temperatures!

  3. Typical of Republican politicians to whine about taking personal responsibility and then demand the privilege of slopping at the public trough. Maybe it’s time New York required its politicians to have a minimum of a grade school education in science.

    Snow melts in the spring and rains swell lakes and rivers, fellas. Leeching off taxpayers isn’t going to change that. If you don’t want to get your basement wet, don’t build your house in a flood plain.

  4. I’m with Lawrence. I am always amazed how people complain about flooding when they’re right on the edge of any waterway. What part of the term “flood plain” did they not understand?
    So we should just let the people on the St Lawrence suffer even more than we are from these record rain and snow levels? From what I’ve gathered, for every inch we lower the lake levels, it adds 4 inches to the St Lawrence levels. They’re already flooding there people, so should we add insult to injury?

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