Commission will study area along St. Lawrence River damaged in 2017 flooding
Sunday, June 16, 2019 - 5:19 pm

In an announcement recently that he had established a commission to work on Lake Ontario waterfront infrastructure resiliency, Gov. Andrew Cuomo also mentioned the commission will study areas along the St. Lawrence River that were affected by flooding two years ago.

The Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, a multi-agency task force to develop a new plan to harden Lake Ontario waterfront infrastructure, will also aim to enhance regional economies in flood prone regions which are heavily dependent on summer tourism, the governor’s announcement said.

“The State has committed more than $100 million to rebuild communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline that were devastated by flooding in 2017, only to once again experience record high water levels and flooding in those same communities,” the announcement said. “The approach developed by this new task force and any subsequent investments resulting from its recommendation will take into account the new reality facing these communities.”

"Intelligence and common sense dictates that this is the new normal, and we should expect continued high water levels for Lake Ontario. We should not be surprised in two years if we are in the same position, and once you accept that premise, it's a fool's errand to rebuild to the same standard," Cuomo said. "So let's redesign and re-envision a different type of shoreline with different protections and build for these inevitable factors in the future.”

The Lake Ontario REDI commission will tour the affected areas and work with local communities to plan for rebuilding the shoreline with resiliency and economic development in mind, the announcement said.

Additionally, the commission will examine areas along the St. Lawrence River that were heavily impacted by the high water levels in 2017 to determine any additional measures that can be taken to harden infrastructure in those communities, the statement from the governor’s office said..