Orleans declares state of emergency for lakeshore towns

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lake Ontario pounds the shoreline near the Yates-Carlton townline at about 10:30 this morning.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 April 2017 at 5:48 pm

ALBION – David Callard, chairman of the Orleans County legislature, has declared a state of emergency in the lakeshore towns of Yates, Carlton and Kendall.

The lake levels are about 2 feet higher than normal. Water is already starting to flood some areas, and endangering property.

“This state of emergency has been declared due to preparedness measures being taken in anticipation of the Lake Ontario water level continually rising into late spring and becoming a long term hazard,” Callard said in the declaration, which went into effect at 2 p.m. “Presently the water level continues to rise and there has been minimal flooding impacting low lying areas based on wind direction and water levels. There is presently no immediate public safety threat, the situation will continually be monitored and orders will be executed based on the circumstances at the time of concern.”

Local officials check the lakeshore communities. They fear Park Road (shown here) could be washed out by tomorrow. These officials include, from left: Murray Highway Superintendent Ed Morgan, County Legislator Fred Miller and Carlton Highway Superintendent David Krull.

Orleans is the third county to declare a state of emergency from Lake Ontario. Wayne County was the first on Wednesday, followed by Niagara County.

In Orleans, the declaration is in effect until rescinded.

Callard also issued an emergency order, limiting boats to operating at an idle speed to cause no wake within 500 feet of the shoreline.

“This order is for the safety of boaters and residences along the lake,” Callard stated in his declaration.

The Orleans County Highway Department delivered 32 tons of sand to the Carlton Highway Department today. The county also took loads to Kendall and Yates highway departments.

Orleans County delivered sand to the three town highway departments. There will be 30,000 sand bags picked up Friday from the State Emergency Management in Chili. Those sand bags will need to be filled. They can be used by homeowners to help protect their property, said Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management director.

“We’re getting things in place in case this gets worse,” Banker said. “We’re hearing the lake could go up another 11 inches.”

The water is up at the Oak Orchard River near The Bridges in Carlton, with many of the docks now submerged from the water.

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