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Storm Information

Lake Ontario Flooding

On 5/20/19, Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency (PDF) for the eight counties impacted by potential Lake Ontario flooding: Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Wayne. The Governor's order directs state agencies to protect State property and to assist local governments and individuals in responding to and recovering from the flooding.

Also, vessels operating within 1,000 feet of shore, unless otherwise directed by a County Declaration, must observe a 5 mile per hour speed limit to reduce impacts to shoreline residences and infrastructure caused by wave action and to promote safe boating. The no wake zone does not apply to communities along the St. Lawrence River.

DEC issued a General Permit to address the potentially damaging effects of high water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River due to the ongoing above average precipitation and snow melt in the Great Lakes Basin. This permit, based on an Emergency Declaration issued by the DEC commissioner, will expedite the process for shoreline property owners to quickly make necessary repairs and stabilize their properties from flood damage. High water levels are projected to continue and may cause widespread shoreline erosion, damage coastline structures and jeopardize infrastructure similar to the historic flooding that took place in the spring of 2017.

DEC will accept applications through April 30, 2020. The General Permit authority is in effect until September 30, 2020.

Permitted activities include:

  • Repair and in-kind replacement of erosion structures;
  • Repair or in-kind reconstruction of existing public roads, bridges, utilities, and other public infrastructure;
  • Stabilization of existing, functional storm-damaged dwellings, decks, and walkways with temporary bracing and piling; and
  • Removal of channel blockages in tributaries to Lake Ontario blocked by shoreline sediment.

Homeowners and municipalities with questions about the permits can contact their Regional DEC Permit Administrator.

Get Notified with NY-Alert

NY-Alert warns citizens of critical information and emergencies and provides timely information to protect lives. Warnings and emergency information can be directed to a phone call, email, text message or fax. Visit alert.ny.gov for more information.

Safety Tips

  • DO NOT attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
  • DO NOT underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water. Two feet of fast-moving flood water will float your car. Water moving at two miles per hour can sweep cars off a road or bridge.
  • Leave early to avoid being marooned on flooded roads.
  • Follow recommended routes. DO NOT ignore emergency detours to view flooded areas.
  • As you travel, monitor NOAA Weather Radio and local radio broadcasts for the latest information.
  • Watch for washed-out roads, earth-slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and falling or fallen objects.
  • Watch for areas where rivers or streams may suddenly rise and flood, such as highway dips, bridges, and low areas.
  • If you are in your car and water begins to rise rapidly around you, abandon the vehicle immediately.

For more safety tips for all types of weather events, visit the DHSES website.