On Monday, Congressman Chris Collins addressed the rising water levels of Lake Ontario at the Oak Orchard Harbor. He has continually pointed to the International Joint Commission (IJC) and its Plan 2014 as the reason for the continued flood concerns. The congressman was joined by Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey, Orleans County Legislature Chairman Lynne Johnson and other elected officials who share the same concerns of a possible flooding along the Western New York shoreline.
“For months now, we have watched Lake Ontario’s water levels increase, and it is very close to the same level measured when flooding occurred in 2017,” Collins said. “The IJC management of our shoreline and lake levels continues to be disastrous for shoreline communities.”
His press release stated, “Since the IJC has failed to manage the Lake Ontario’s water levels during the spring season, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency services has deployed 800,000 sandbags, hundreds of pumps, and 920 feet of temporary dams to prepare and protect those along the shoreline who will be affected. Counties along the shoreline are still contemplating calling for States of Emergency and are closely monitoring the water levels day-by-day. Congressman Collins has been a strong advocate for new commissioners to be put into place at the IJC, but it is up to the Senate to hold a final vote to confirm President Trump’s nominations of Assemblywoman Jane Corwin to serve as the new IJC chair and two new commissioners.”
Collins said, “Plan 2014 has failed the lakeshore communities once and it will fail again unless new IJC commissioners are in place to conduct a new review of Plan 2014.”
Collins said he will continue to put pressure on the Senate to hold a final vote, as well as closely monitor the rising water levels of Lake Ontario.