New York State governor blast IJC over Lake Ontario flood management

Published: May 30, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Blame for consistent floods in New York State has been laid at the doorstep of the joint US-Canadian commission that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario. US Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY State) says the commission’s poor management has resulted in the floods.

Cuomo adds the International Joint Commission (IJC) has failed to manage the situation and says the state of New York has suffered because of the “blunders”. The politician suggests new steps that will help those who have been impacted by the recent flooding.

The governor recognizes record rainfall has made water levels high on Lake Ontario and along the Great Lakes basin. He says the IJC should have been more decisive about making sure water levels were low enough before the rainfall.

“There’s no doubt but that the IJC blew it,” he said in a conference at Greece, Monroe County – one of the areas in NY State that was severely affected by the flooding.

“I think the IJC has made a series of blunders,” Cuomo stressed. “Their methodology was flawed to begin with. They’re doing tremendous damage and it has to stop now.”

Cuomo said a new water level management scheme called Plan 2014 would allow two inches added to the upper water limit and up to eight inches from the lower range. He confirmed New York State will enforce these changes to help alleviate the flooding in the area. The three measures are US$7 million to help homeowners rebuild properties, a 5mph speed limit on boats within 600 feet of the shore and the speedier delivery of money to help through the Clean Water Initiative.

Lake Ontario is already some 33 inches above its end of May average and is not expected to recede for at least another month.