As Lake Ontario continues to rise, Sodus Point wants to emphasize it's open for business
The threat of high water along the Lake Ontario shoreline is often felt first in low-lying places like Sodus Point.
Village Mayor Dave McDowell said that right now, Sodus Point is about as prepared as it can be.
"We have 40,000 sandbags, give or take, deployed around the low spots of the village, they’re holding; we’ve got National Guard back shoring up a couple of spots on the south side with this heavy south wind, but our streets are all dry, the businesses are all open and thriving," McDowell said.
And that is a message that McDowell and other officials and business owners in Sodus Point have been trying to get out, with the big summer tourism season about to start in a few weeks.
He noted that lake levels are expected to peak in a few weeks.
"The big question is how high is the lake going to get and how many big storms are we going to get while the water’s high, because that’s when things get wet. But even if things get wet we have pumps in place so we can keep the streets clear and all the properties safe; not necessarily dry, but all the properties safe," McDowell said.
But McDowell said that Sodus Point and other communities learned a lot after the 2017 flooding, information they hope will help mitigate any possible damage this time around.
"We met with Wayne County Emergency Management and began to develop a plan based on everything that went on in 2017 , because we had a lot of follow up work to do to make sure that our infrastructure changes that we wanted to make, happened, and we also knew we could do a better job if we had a plan so we developed a plan in 2018."
New York State has also provided a temporary dam that has been set up in one of the lowest areas in Sodus Point to mitigate damage and protect the village infrastructure.