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Lake Ontario Flooding: A look at what was before Plan 2014

A large focus on Lake Ontario water levels has been on outflow. Some have criticized the new plan to regulate water levels that went into effect in 2016. One professor told News 8 that the problems experienced on the lake would have been just as bad with the old plan in place.

Doug Wilcox, Ph.D., SUNY Brockport Empire Innovation Professor of Wetland Science said the flooding this year was a result of a flooded downstream and upstream. “Lake Superior’s a record high, Lake St. Clair, record high, Lake Erie, record high, Michigan and Huron, close to record high,” said Wilcox. Most of it comes over Niagara Falls and into Lake Ontario.

“We’ve done paleo-lake level studies going back about 5,000 years. They show a pattern of high lake levels occurring about every 160 years.” This could be a long term pattern that is repeating itself. Actual strong records of Lake Ontario water levels kept by the Army Corps of Engineers go back to 1919. Lake level records for Lake Ontario have been broken in 2017 and 2019

The International Joint Commission has been doing everything it can to lower water levels since early May when water levels reached Criterion H14. This means that outflow is managed to reduce flooding all across the basin.

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