Flooding Arrives On Lake Ontario, State Prepares For Worst-Case ScenarioPosted: Updated:
The flooding has begun along the shores of Lake Ontario. Among the first communities to see it is Sackets Harbor.
The village docks, dry two days ago, are now under a couple inches of water. The predictions continue to be that levels will keep rising - several more inches - rivaling those of 2017 when records were set.
As flood waters invaded those docks, Sackets Harbor was the staging ground Wednesday for a news conference with village Mayor Molly Reilly and Jefferson County Legislature Chairman Scott Gray.
They welcomed the state's director of emergency management, Michael Kopy. He's the man in charge of the state's plan to help protect waterfront property from flood damage.
While he hopes this won't be a repeat of 2017, he thinks the north country needs to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.
"I can't control that water level, how high that water is going to get, but what I can be is prepared for the worst-case scenario. And right now we're planning that 2017 is going to happen again," he said.
Kopy stood on the shorelines of Lake Ontario in Sackets Harbor getting a first-hand look at enemy number 1.
"I don't want to be in a position where it did get that high and we weren't prepared for it, and I won't let that happen," he said.
To help, the state has made available hundreds of thousands of sandbags to communities and is buying more aquadams. Kopy wants municipalities to ask for help now - not after the flood waters arrive.
And while your plans may well thought out, Kopy still has worries.
"I fear that people don't heed the warnings and that they are not sandbagging their house and they are not prepared. The state is prepared, but we need each homeowner to look at their own land and figure out what they need to do. We'll get them the resources they need. They need to take action now. The water is still low enough. Start taking action now before the water gets too high," he said.
Kopy and other officials from the governor's office will be in the north country each week, making sure communities and people get what they need to protect their property.