Lake Erie's Flooding And Its Effect On Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence RiverPosted: Updated:
We're not the only ones feeling the effects of lakeshore flooding. To the west, Lake Erie is seeing record high levels and all that water has to go somewhere.
That's the reason why the water along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence is getting so high and is forecasted even higher.
Lake Erie's water level is 30 inches over its average and the outlet for all that water flows up the Niagara River and into Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River..
The thing is - Lake Ontario is caught in the middle. Release too much water at the Moses Saunders Dam in Massena and it floods the other side toward Montreal.
However, there's no way to control the water coming from Lake Erie.
"Eventually all that water does pass through the Niagara River into Lake Ontario. And there is no control structure at that point," said Bryce Carmichael, U.S. Section Secretary, International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board.
While the north country braces for flooding like 2017, the big factor that controls how bad it will be doesn't necessarily come from Lake Erie.
"Where the lake peaks, we'll very much depend on the rainfall. You see the red line in the level of Lake Ontario this year. And then we see a band of levels that could happen. If we get very wet conditions in the next couple months, the lake will set a new record this year," said Frank Bevacqua, Public Information Officer, International Joint Commission.
However, Bevacqua says an average amount of rainfall could mean 10 inches less than 2017.
And it has been a rainy month so far. According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, we've had 2 and a half inches of rain so far this month, more than double the amount we usually see at this point in May.