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Lake Ontario water levels rise into flood hazard territory

  • 31 May 2019
  • ckearns

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The water level of Lake Ontario is rising steadily, inch by inch and day by day, and local officials say it's reached the point where storm sewers soon may overflow.

Newfane Supervisor Timothy Horanburg said the town is pumping lake water that has backed up into its sewers from the west side of the hamlet of Olcott to the east to prevent overflows.

"Once we get water in the yards where the vent pipes come up, we'll have to start pumping our sewer system," Horanburg said at a news conference Wednesday.

The lake level reached 248 feet above sea level Wednesday morning. Local officials have regarded that as something of a magic number for flood threats.

"It's 248 today, and 249 is where it peaked in 2017," said Jonathan F. Schultz, Niagara County emergency management director. "Unfortunately, the Army Corps (of Engineers) says we've still got a ways to go."

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