Senator Pam Helming and Assemblyman Brian Manktelow today called on the federal government to take immediate action and assist the homeowners, small businesses and communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Wayne County has already declared a State of Emergency due to expected flooding. 

Since the implementation of Plan 2014, there have been record high lake levels and devastating flooding. With the inconsistent actions of the International Joint Commission (IJC) and the continued high water levels, many communities are anticipating further flooding and damage to personal property, businesses and the environment. Outflows are currently well under what they need to be to avoid flooding and in spite of this, there is no decisive action from the federal government and the International Joint Commission.

“The International Joint Commission has not fulfilled its obligation to manage Lake Ontario water levels. With rising levels and no meaningful action, it is a question of when our communities will flood, not if they will flood. The federal government and the International Joint Commission created this problem with the passage of Plan 2014. They forced this through and ignored the concerns of local residents and leaders. Now, despite this, they continue to refuse to repeal the Plan or help pick up the pieces from the disaster they created. We need direct assistance and resources. This disaster has already cost small businesses, homeowners, local towns/villages and the State of New York hundreds of millions of dollars in direct damages. The homeowners and small businesses need a commitment from their federal government that this plan will be repealed. It is time to demand real action,” said Senator Pam Helming.

“Plan 2014 has to be repealed, or at least amended to reflect the IJC’s  responsibility for the flooding that is bound to keep happening year in and year out, “ Assemblyman Manktelow said. “The federal government must step in with resources for homeowners and businesses who have already lost so much. For many of these residents, these are their primary homes and they literally have nowhere else to go.  There must be direct assistance and resources, especially for those who are at the mercy of the high water that has been brought on by Plan 2014 and the IJC’s inability to manage it,” said Assemblyman Manktelow.

In January of this year, Senator Helming contacted Governor Cuomo to request that he use every resource available to increase outflows and push back the shipping schedule to allow more time to stabilize lake levels. Currently, Senator Helming and Assemblyman Manktelow are supporting New York’s efforts to sue the IJC and hold it accountable for the impact of Plan 2014 on local communities. 

As always, Senator Helming and Assemblyman Manktelow are continuing to remind grant applicants who have already applied for funding to return all necessary paperwork.