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Niagara Falls
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Lake levels easing, flood risk diminishing

Water levels in Lake Ontario have eased a bit and there is no immediate risk of flooding, says a Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake official.

Brett Ruck, the town’s manager of environmental services, said the lake’s water level in Lake Ontario hasn’t risen in the last week or so.

“We’re holding steady at this point,” he said Tuesday. “Environment Canada hasn’t said we’ve crested yet so … I’m feeling confident we’re not going to hit to the maximum that they were thinking. So that’s good news for us.”

As of Tuesday, June 18, the water was at 75.82 metres, said Ruck.

Earlier this spring, the water level passed the 2017 record of 75.75 metres. The town then held an information session on May 31 at which residents were warned to be ready in case the lake flooded their homes.

The town placed sandbags at Collingwood Street, the Nelson Street parking lot and at the parking lot at the River Beach Drive in efforts to protect the dock area.

Since the meeting, the town staff has also implemented extra measures, such as installing fencing, to protect the flood prevention equipment.

Luckily, last weekend’s high winds haven’t had much of an impact either, said Ruck.

“I think we survived quite nicely,” he said in a phone interview. “Some of the winds might have brought waves over a little bit … but everything we got in place right now is put in place to accommodate any water spillage that might come through.”

Since the town has improved shoreline protection by putting in rocks, there haven’t been any erosion damage due to winds and waves, Ruck said. The trees and vegetation are also holding firm.

There also have been cases of people using the flood protection bladders, which can hold up to two to three inches of water, as “a toy” with children jumping on them or people laying on them, Ruck told The Lake Report.

“It’s not a waterpark,” he said, adding the dock area residents were looking for the town’s assistance in dealing with the issue and that’s why the town decided to fence off all the bladders along Melville Street. The River Beach Park was also fenced off as people need to stay out of what he considers a construction site, Ruck said.

The town staff will now wait for water levels to drop so they can place river rocks on the beaches as well as add another groyne – a rock island – which will stop onshore winds and waves.

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