Gov. Cuomo: Meeting with IJC about Lake Ontario water levels “unsatisfactory”

Local News

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Governor Andrew Cuomo stopped in Irondequoit Saturday to discuss how the state is preparing for the potential of lakeshore flooding.

The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services have already deployed 70,000 sandbags for use in communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

The Governor also announced that he was activating 100 National Guard members to support preparedness operations.

Cuomo and other leaders, representing towns and villages along Lake Ontario, have been critical of how Lake Ontario’s water levels have been regulated over the last several years.

They blame the International Joint Commission (IJC) and their “Plan 2014,” for the damage high water has caused in communities like Sodus Point and Fair Haven.

The IJC regulates how much water is released out the St. Lawrence Seaway in the spring, ultimately setting the lake’s water level for the season.

Last week, the Governor announced that New York representatives would be meeting with the IJC to discuss changes to the group’s plan. On Saturday, he said those meetings were “unsatisfactory” and said plans to appoint a New York member to the IJC Board were not followed through.

“At least give us a New Yorker on the IJC so someone can speak about protecting New York … I think the federal government should do that immediately because we need representation on the IJC and there’s no way around that,” said Gov. Cuomo.

He added the IJC did not commit to releasing more water but would look into that as a potential solution. Also discussed was 24-hour monitoring of the lake and improved communication with New York State.

Gov. Cuomo will be continuing his tour along Lake Ontario and will be in Oswego today. Stay tuned with NewsChannel 9 and LocalSYR.com for updates.

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