Bad news about lake and River water levels

Updated: Apr. 3, 2020 at 1:45 PM EDT
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HENDERSON, N.Y. (WWNY) - When it comes to water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, there’s bad news and worse news. Officials say this summer is likely to be as wet as last year or wetter.

Lake Ontario's water level is about a foot and half higher than the historical average. And it is about half a foot higher than it was last year.

"Record amounts of have been released from Lake Ontario every month this year and we are doing everything within our means to lower lake Ontario in preparation for a spring rise. There is still much uncertainty of what will happen and the out come will be determined by the weather," said Jane Corwin, U.S. commissioner & chair, International Joint Commission.

IJC officials say based on forecasts, it looks like the lake level will continue to be above average this year and if it's a rainy season, things could be very bad.

"If conditions are extremely wet, Lake Ontario could peak at higher levels than even last year," said Corwin.

Another year like 2019 is what lake shore property owners in the town of Henderson are worried about.

"I'm terrified, not only with the crisis in the world, but to think I have to face a third year of flooding. I mean it's just been overwhelming for everyone who lives on the lake," said Rose Mary Felio, Henderson resident.

"I'm very concerned. In fact, I haven't even worked on any of the repairs needed from last year and just have it happen again," said David Converse, Concerned Citizens of Henderson.

IJC officials say in recent history there has been a lot more water in the the Great Lakes system.

With the seaway now open, officials say they will continue to deviate from Plan 2014, releasing as much water as possible from the dams but also allowing safe shipping.

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