© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Coastal erosion' in Oswego County as Lake Ontario rises

Jason Smith
WRVO News File Photo
Lake Ontario levels are up 16 inches from March according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

More communities along the shoreline of Lake Ontario are being threatened as water levels continue to rise. As of April 24, water levels are more than 20 inches above the average for this time of year.

The Oswego County Emergency Management Office is dispersing sandbags to local municipalities. The office's director says the higher levels are now causing some coastal erosion in some parts of the county and they expect even more damage inland if there are strong winds.

Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Keith Kompoltowicz says many communities along Lake Ontario are facing this threat.

"The lake is well above it's historical average and it's also above where it was a year ago," Kompoltowicz said. "And the rise just in the month of April is in the order of 16 inches."

Oswego County representatives, like Assemblyman Will Barclay (R-Pulaski) and Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), are blaming the problem on Plan 2014. It's a recent international agreement with Canada that changed the way Lake Ontario water levels are regulated. They want President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from Plan 2014.

Barclay is also calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to advocate for state and federal funding. The money would be used for measures to protect property and replace any that has been damaged. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.