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Dinolfo, County OEM Host Multi-Agency Lake Level Preparedness Meeting

Dinolfo, County OEM Host Multi-Agency Lake Level Preparedness Meeting

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, in partnership with Monroe County Office of Emergency Management Director Tim Kohlmeier, hosted a multi-agency planning meeting to prepare a coordinated response to potential flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline in 2018. Among the entities participating in the meeting were local town and village departments of public works, law enforcement entities, fire and rescue agencies, and the National Weather Service.

“Last year’s unprecedented flooding caused millions of dollars in damage, devastated private property and municipal infrastructure, and burdened every taxpayer in this community, regardless of whether or not you live near the lake,” said Dinolfo. “Today’s multi-agency meeting will help us coordinate our joint community response so we are ready and equipped to respond at a moment’s notice if and when the lake levels rise again. I want the public to know that, along with our partners present at this meeting, the County is ready, able, and prepared to protect our shoreline residents in the weeks to come.”

The multi-agency meeting was intended to allow local stakeholders to have discussions on the topic, share information, and identify opportunities to better respond to the challenge of lakeshore flooding. Topics discussed include the process for distribution of sandbags, installation and operation of Aqua Dam apparatus, and planning for a potential emergency evacuation of lakeside residences, among other issues.

In preparation for potential flooding in 2018, Monroe County is currently in possession of 40,000 sandbags that can be distributed to communities in need along the lakeshore. New York State also maintains 15 stockpiles of sandbags located in strategic areas across the state. In Monroe County, the Town of Chili is home to one of those locations, which can facilitate the easy transfer of bags from the State to the County and surrounding municipalities if and when additional sandbag supplies are needed.

Throughout the 2017 Lake Ontario flooding event, Monroe County provided over 100,000 sandbags to local municipalities, in addition to key de-flooding efforts in areas significantly stressed by water levels along the lakeshore. These efforts included watering de-pumping stations, armoring of county roads, installation of Aqua Dams, and coordinated communication efforts between state, county and town entities.

Monroe County applied for and received $1.5 million in grant funding through New York State to repair vital county infrastructure damaged by the flooding. A portion of the funds will be allocated to mitigation efforts for a potential 2018 flooding season.