St. Lawrence River Water Levels Rise Dramatically

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The St. Lawrence River is known for having its ups and downs involving water levels - just ask riverfront resident Dalton Foster, who says he hasn't seen the water on the St. Lawrence at Wilson Hill this high in some time.
 
"Many people's docks are under water," said Foster, Wilson Hill Association president.

The current situation is a far cry from the near historic low water levels that have been plaguing the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

A strong southwest wind is being blamed for significantly raising water levels on the St. Lawrence River between two and three feet over the weekend, creating shoreline erosion problems and making some docks unreachable.

The International River Board of Control says the phenomena is caused by water being blown from Lake Ontario back into the St. Lawrence.
 
"The lake on the opposite side is decreased, but the level right at the beginning of the St. Lawrence River is increased and that increases the whole water level down the entire river," said John Kangas of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.                                
 
The high water conditions along the St. Lawrence started on Friday and progressively got worse over the weekend.
 
"We're getting a lot of erosion down there right now," said Richard Guimond, who is concerned about the water levels.
          
The high water levels also forced seaway ships to temporarily reduce their speeds in the area between Eisenhower and Iroquois locks until further notice.                    
 
The International Joint Commission tries to strike an appropriate balance in water levels by adjusting the amount of water released through the Moses-Saunders Hydroelectric Dam.
 
Officials say once the winds die down, it will take a day or two for water levels on the St. Lawrence to once again begin to drop.

Friday, August 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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