Be prepared for future flooding, says IJC chair

wwny Be prepared for future flooding, says IJC chair

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Be prepared for future flooding. That's coming from the International Joint Commission's leader during a panel discussion in Watertown Friday.

Jane Corwin says the IJC is studying the plan ahead of schedule to see if changes can be made. That's still ongoing, but in the meantime, a repeat flooding season could be a possibility.

"Assume something like this could happen again even if it doesn't happen this year or next year or the year after," she said.

Be prepared, says Corwin, when it comes to Plan 2014.

The plan, which regulates water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, is currently under review by the IJC.

"We're dealing with this on a more sustained level. Are the policies we have in place effective," said Corwin.

Friday afternoon, Corwin was invited for a panel discussion in Watertown, where lawmakers and county emergency officials expressed their concerns about eroding shorelines and the lake's high level which now sits 18 and a half inches about average.

"If we end up with a lot of precipitation like we did with this past year or in 2017, we're looking at some very high water levels - again, it's going to come down to the weather," said Corwin.

She fielded questions for about two hours. Corwin was invited by state Assemblyman Mark Walczyk.

"People deserve answers. People need answers. Everyone who lives on the river and lake is concerned about water levels and it's nice to hear it directly from the chairwoman herself what they can do, what they can't do," said Walczyk (R. - 116th District).

Corwin's biggest message for those who live and work along the shoreline: build better and be prepared.

Jefferson County legislators expressed interest in getting more involved in committees looking into our area’s flooding and trying to figure out if Plan 2014 needs any changes.

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