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DEC releases new flood maps for Lake Ontario

U.S. Geological Society

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has released new flood maps for Lake Ontario. The maps help local officials better prepare for high water events.

Information from U. S. Geological Survey gauges in the lake was used to create the charts, which cover 321 miles of the U.S. lake shoreline.

"The eight new gauges placed off the New York shoreline will give us much more insight into how Lake Ontario flooding will affect communities along the shore as well as inland. The gauges give us information that has not existed for this region of New York," said Christopher Gazoorian, the Surface Water Specialist for the USGS New York Water Science Center.

The maps indicate areas that might be affected by flooding and floodwater depth in Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego and Wayne counties.

"Flooding is the number one natural threat facing New Yorkers. Providing emergency managers and first responders with the tools and resources they need to manage this threat is critical. This tool from our partners at DEC and USGS will help shoreline communities along Lake Ontario be better prepared the next time floodwaters begin to rise," said Jackie Bray, the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner.

In 2017 and 2019 Lake Ontario reached record levels and led to the creation of new state efforts to support communities along the Lake and the St. Lawrence River to better prepare for future flooding.