Risk of shoreline flooding low this year, river board says

Risk of shoreline flooding low this year, river board says
The International Joint Commission controls the flow of water through dams in Massena. (Source: WWNY)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The risk is low that 2021 will be a repeat of 2017 and 2019 along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines.

That’s according to the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board as it continues to monitor conditions that affect water levels.

The board says the risk of flooding is down to 8 percent from 28 percent in December, primarily because of dry conditions the last two months.

Because of that, the board is reducing outflows from Lake Ontario, but says they’ll still be high. The board says it was operating outside of Plan 2014 parameters with higher outflows in January and February, but now outflows will be regulated according to the plan.

Right now, Lake Ontario is more than four inches lower than its long-term average for this time of year.

Water levels in Lake Erie, which flows directly into Lake Ontario, are high, although they’re about a foot lower than this time last year.

The board warns that if condition become extremely wet as they were in 2017 and 2019, there’s nothing they can do to prevent flooding.

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