SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. (WWNY) - Call it a sign that things are at long last returning to normal, after a wet spring and summer along Lake Ontario.
Volunteers from the 10th Mountain Division were in Sackets Harbor Saturday morning, dismantling a wall of sandbags, placed to protect the village when Ontario’s waters hit flood stage earlier this summer.
It’s a big job. There were 100,000 bags facing the soldiers Saturday.
“The easiest way to do this is to just set up a chain and pick up a sand bag get it to the shoreline, open the sand bag and dump it in," said Lt. Colonel Jim Beaulieu, commander of the 41st Engineers Battalion.
Volunteers from the 41st labored Saturday morning to clear the bags, with thanks from the village’s mayor.
“When we needed help they didn’t even hesitate," said Molly Reilly, mayor of Sackets Harbor.
Reilly says the soldiers teamed up with the village as part of the Snap Link Program, which Lt. Colonel Jim Beaulieu says is a partnership between the military and communities for service projects.
“Its important for us as soldiers,” Beaulieu said.
“You know we are part of the community, and its important for us to get out and take part in these events so that we can show our support for the community, show that we are here to help and that our relationship will be enduring.”
This was the second weekend of sand bag clearing. Last weekend, they cleared more than 60,000 sand bags.
The clearing comes as water levels on the lake have dropped about a foot.
“With an abundance of caution and after consulting with many we decided to do this cleanup," Reilly said.
Reilly said The Department of Environmental Conservation gave the go-ahead to remove the sand bags last week.
As for the people who call Sackets home, Reilly said “I hope that they are able to enjoy some of the beautiful sunsets here with the hope that things will get better, but also with the prudence to know that if there is a problem again, we’ll be here to help.”