Ritchie Questions NYS Director of Emergency Management Regarding Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River Flooding

Patty Ritchie

February 25, 2020

Hearing in Albany Examined the Effectiveness of Current Flooding Emergency and Mitigation Efforts

During a public hearing hosted by the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, State Senator Patty Ritchie questioned New York State Director of Emergency Management Dan O’Hara on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River flood mitigation efforts.

As people along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River prepare for what could be another season of high water, the hearing was held to evaluate the effectiveness of past flooding emergency and mitigation efforts. Senator Ritchie’s questions during the hearing focused on ensuring the state is doing everything it can to lessen potential damage.

“We know just how damaging these high waters are and the devastating impact they have had on businesses, homes and lives,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “Whether it’s letting more water out of the system, building stronger infrastructure or staging sandbags and other barrier objects before the spring, it’s imperative that we plan ahead and do all we can to reduce the severity of any additional damage.”

In addition to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the hearing also featured experts in the areas of water resources, engineering, agriculture and planning.

Last week, Senator Ritchie joined with Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay and Assembly Member Mark Walczyk to send a letter to the Governor, requesting that the state take all necessary steps now to prepare for possible flooding this spring.