Lieutenant governor gets first-hand look at high water

wwny Lieutenant governor gets first-hand look at high water

CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - North country officials and the state Department of Environmental Conservation showed Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul the aqua dams and sand bags that are helping keep high water back in Clayton.

Hochul met Monday with local business owners, who are dealing with the flooding. She says wants people in Clayton to know the state isn’t going to forget about them.

“We have come together to say we are here to help. This community needs our support, they need our tourism dollars, we need people to keep coming here,” she said.

Business owners we talked to in Clayton said they are glad to have state officials looking at the flooding.

“It’s exciting to see that people are interested in the new businesses and what’s happening with the levels. They care and they want to come in and see what’s happening,” said Shawn Di Prinzio, owner of Di Prinzio’s Kitchen.

“It’s really good and it’s very reassuring to see the government being so proactive and trying to help us along,” said Dan Frank, owner of Spicer Marine Basin.

Hochul says that Clayton could be one of the communities that qualifies for help from the Governor’s REDI commission which is focused on resiliency.

“We’ve committed $300 million of state resources on top of the $100 million allocated two years ago to help local communities get through this,” said Hochul.

Officials also went to Spicer Marine Basin for a boat ride. The owner of the basin says that things have been getting better.

The International Joint Commission says the water levels are dropping due to drier weather. Water is still flowing out of lake Ontartio at it’s maximum rate at the dam in Massena.

Officials say further increasing the outflow would force shipping on the St. Lawrence River to shut down, costing $50 million per day.

“We are asking them to be reasonable in their approach and not cause any further damage along the shoreline of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River when they make these decisions. Shipping is obviously very important to the economy and the state and the Great Lakes as well, we also have home owners, and communities and without them, if they go under, we lose part of the character and charm of our state,” said Hochul.

Hochul says that she is taking to heart the IJC’s decision to review and study Plan 2014. There will be statewide REDI Commission meetings this week.

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