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International Joint Commission to maintain record outflow from Lake Ontario

Flooding this spring in Sodus Bay
Veronica Volk
Flooding this spring in Sodus Bay

For lakeshore property owners, there’s no quick fix to the high water levels, even though the organization that regulates those levels will continue with record outflows from Lake Ontario.

The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board said the current outflow measures will help provide both immediate and long-term relief to all affected upstream shoreline residents and property owners.

Flooding this spring in Sodus Bay
Credit Veronica Volk
Flooding this spring in Sodus Bay

Bryce Carmichael, U.S. secretary for the board, said the board has deliberated several outflow strategies.

“They’ve done their best to consider all the options to provide relief to all shoreline residents upstream and downstream and on Lake Ontario,” he said.

The board said increasing the outflow above the current record high level would require the U.S. and Canadian Seaway Corporations to shut down shipping, and the estimated economic impact of that would be $50 million a day.

Carmichael says over the last week and a half, there has been about a 3-inch drop in levels on Lake Ontario, but the level is still above the long-term historic average for this time of year.

Copyright 2019 WXXI News

Alex Crichton