Lake Ontario Waters Rising in Youngstown

Flooding already reported at some businesses

Tom Puckett
May 16, 2019 - 7:21 pm

Photo Courtesy RCR Yachts


Youngstown, NY (WBEN) As the waters of Lake Ontario rise, one Niagara County community is already seeing the damaging effects.

In Youngstown and Porter, Porter Town Supervisor Duffy Johnston says he's already helping one business that's damaged. "I got the (Niagara Jet Adventures) 11 pallets of sandbags to try and help his company," says Johnston, who notes the Coast Guard is also assisting. 

He says the water levels are more than where they were two years ago. "The way the weather has been with the rain, the levels are higher. If we get a northeast storm, that's what tears up the land," explains Johnston. "Levels are ok if no storms, but northeast wind tears the land up. Now, they can't let the water out if they wanted to. The water's rising more than the dam can let out."

Johnston says his town's economy relies on tourists. "Our village thrives on Canadian visitors and sailboats. We also thrive on fishermen going out, and the water's so high it's tough to put a boat in, so they're not buying water or a sandwich before going out," says Johnston. 

Niagara County Emergency Services Director Johnathan Schultz says water levels are rising about an inch a day depending on the weather. "Right now, we're heading in the same direction as 2017," says Schultz.

Schultz says a couple of businesses have already started going underwater, including RCR Yachts. "We're working in low lying areas doing sandbag operations and pumping operations as we need to to protect the homes which could be affected," notes Schults.

He has advice for spectators. "Be careful. Many of the banks are loose and eroding away and the water is still very cold. We don't anyone falling down a loose bank into the water and getting hurt," wanrs Schultz. 

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