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Kendall first in Orleans to declare state of emergency from lake

Photos by Tom Rivers: Some of the docks at the Oak Orchard River in Carlton are underwater due to the high Lake Ontario water levels. This photo was taken on Friday afternoon.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 May 2019 at 9:50 am

KENDALL – The Town of Kendall is the first municipality in Orleans County to declare a state of emergency from the high Lake Ontario water levels.

Tony Cammarata, the town supervisor, made the declaration on Wednesday. He said on Saturday that the declaration will expedite state resources for the town, including AquaDams, large grain bags to hold multiple sandbags, and assistance from the National Guard and inmate crews from state prisons with the flood protection.

On Thursday, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo also issued a state of emergency due to high waters along Lake Ontario. The county implemented a 5 mph speed limit for all boat traffic within 500 feet of the Lake Ontario shoreline in Monroe County. That is intended to minimize flooding damage to the shoreline.

Wayne County also has declared a state of emergency for bays in Sodus, Huron and Wolcott.

More Orleans municipalities – the towns of Yates and Carlton, and Orleans County – are expected to soon declare a state of emergency. Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director, said the Orleans officials are coordinating with Niagara County an a declaration.

“It could be any day based on the changing conditions,” he said.

The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control installed a 450-foot AquaDam on Friday at Oak Orchard on the Lake, just west of the Oak Orchard Harbor.

Cammarata said Kendall is better prepared to fight the flooding this time, compared to 2017. The town has many pallets of sandbags ready, and learned two years ago that putting sandbags in the larger grain bags makes them more effective. Residents who need sandbags should contact the Kendall Highway Department at (585) 659-2650.

The AquaDams also help protect property. The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control installed a 450-foot AquaDam on Friday at Oak Orchard on the Lake in Carlton.

Cammarata said Kendall has requested three AquaDams for vulnerable shoreline in the town.

Many property owners have new breakwalls that should also better protect property if the lake continues to rise and floods. State grants helped pay for those breakwalls, which Cammarata said are at a higher incline to better thwart erosion.

“We’re anticipating better in 2019 than in 2017,” he said.

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