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Carlton Fire Company will have open house on Sunday with demonstrations

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Carlton Fire Company is pictured on June 8 in Albion at the annual Strawberry Festival parade.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 June 2019 at 6:35 pm

CARLTON – The community is welcome to attend an open house on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Carlton Rec Hall, where firefighters will be giving tours of fire trucks, an ambulance and doing demonstrations, including one with auto extrication equipment.

The fire company usually does an open house in April but moved it back until June 23 to increase the chances of better weather.

The open house will be a chance to meet firefighters and EMTs.

The Emergency Management Office will also have a fire safety trailer on site where people can learn about fire prevention and develop a fire escape plan.

The Sheriff’s Office will also be at the open house with K9 Otto and deputies will do a child car seat check for families.

The Fire Company will also share opportunities to serve as firefighters, EMTs or as social members. The age of membership recently was lowered to 16.

Community members can also help with events at the Rec Hall, serving as bartenders, on buildings and grounds or with administrative duties.

The Rec Hall is located at 1853 Oak Orchard Rd.

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DOT puts big sandbags by shore to help protect Parkway from erosion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 June 2019 at 3:23 pm

Photos courtesy of State Department of Transportation

KENDALL – The New York State Department of Transportation this week has put many bulk sandbags that are approximately 3,000 pounds each at two locations in Orleans County. The sandbags will help protect the Lake Ontario State Parkway from erosion.

The high water levels in Lake Ontario are chewing away some of the shoreline along the lake.

The DOT worked at a section in both Kendall and Carlton, placing the sandbags by using an excavator.

The Carlton location is in the area of Reference Marker 1055, just east of the Lake Shore Drive exit. The Kendall location is Reference Marker 1091, about 1 ¼ mile West of Route 237.

The larger bulk bags were tied to guiderail posts that were driven into the soil.

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Homeowners on lake thankful for help in fighting flooding

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 June 2019 at 6:24 pm

National Guard, local and state governments praised for response

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Members of the National Guard have been in Carlton today, stacking sandbags to protect two homes on a peninsula that are very vulnerable to flooding. The houses are on Park Road and are surrounded by water on three sides, from Lake Ontario and Johnson Creek.

The Town of Carlton Highway Department uses a payloader to carry pallets of sandbags across a washed out section of Park Road.

A chunk of Park Road washed out about three weeks ago. Residents at three houses have to walk through the washed out road to reach their houses. John DeFilipps, an Orleans County legislator, is among the residents on the peninsula that is no longer accessible to regular traffic.

DeFilipps and his wife Donna bought their house by the lake in 1998. They experienced flooding two years ago and rebuilt their breakwall. Some of that wall with smaller stones has been knocked loose as the lake levels rose and the waves got stronger. The DeFilipps couple has spent several hours this weekend picking up driftwood and rocks that were heaved into their yard from the strong waves.

“Our cellar is a swimming pool now,” Mr. DeFilipps said.

He estimated about 16 inches of water is in the basement.

These National Guard members wade through water on Park Road. A section of the road is now underwater.

The DeFilipps house has been popular today as a bathroom break for about 40 members of the National Guard.

DeFilipps reached the house today by rolling up his pantlegs and walking in flip flops down the washed out road, hanging onto trees so he didn’t fall into the water.

He said the Johnson Creek Peninsula, just north of the Kuckville hamlet on Route 18, is a striking location.

“It used to be a peninsula, but now we’re an island,” DeFilipps said about the rising water that cut through the road.

He commended the local governments and state agencies for their efforts in getting sandbags and AquaDams in place for residents in the past month. The state also has paid to fortify many of the break walls along the lake since the 2017 flooding.

Some of those break walls, however, have been knocked apart, DeFilipps said, especially with the smaller stones. The waves can easily lift the light rocks up and heave them off a breakwall.

The National Guard members unload and stack sandbags around a cottage owned by Gary Hudson.

Family feared century-old cottage would be lost

Gary Hudson, 72, is thankful to see so many National Guardsmen. He owns a cottage from 1922 that has been in his family for nearly a century. He feared it would be ruined from the invading water.

He praised the efforts of the National Guard, the Carlton Highway Department and Dale Banker, director of the Orleans County Emergency Management Office.

“I appreciate the hell out of these guys,” Hudson said today, watching the National Guard stack sandbags around the cottage.

Hudson’s nephew Todd Hansler was worried the cottage would be destroyed by the water. He called Banker on Wednesday. Banker had state officials check the site and they approved having the National Guard come in and stack sand bags.

A New York Naval Militia patrol boat approaches with pallets of sandbags to be placed by the edge of the shore to help protect the homes on park Road.

It was difficult to get the pallets of sandbags to the site because the road is washed out. The Carlton highway department used a payloader with big tires to move the pallets to the site.

A New York Naval Militia boat also brought in sandbags. That boat has been busy on the southshore, most recently at Sodus in Wayne County. Today the sandbags were loaded onto the boat at the state boat launch on Archibald Road and then taken by boat to the Park Road site.

The pallets hold 40 sandbags that each weigh about 40 pounds, for about 1,600 pounds total.

The New York Naval Militia boat pulls into Johnson Creek so the sandbags can be unloaded.

‘It’s the most fantastic thing ever, having them out here helping us’

Pat Cummings has the house right at the end of the peninsula. Two years ago the cottage suffered lots of flooding damage. Cummings had a new breakwall put in, raised the main door by six inches, and sealed openings to help keep out the water.

Cummings said the place is better fortified for flooding this time. But she worried as the lake level kept going up, now higher than the peak in 2017.

Pat Cummings takes a photo of the approaching New York Naval Militia boat. She appreciates the efforts of so many to help protect her property from flooding.

She and her family hauled sandbags to the site by themselves in 2017. It was slow and exhausting.

She tried again to move the sandbags herself this week. They are heavy.

The National Guard is far faster.

“It’s the most fantastic thing ever, having them out here helping us,” she said.

Cummings has owned the cottage since 2011.

“In normal conditions it’s the best spot in the world,” she said. “It’s my paradise.”

The National Guard members are from the Air Force in Niagara Falls and the Army in Rochester.

The National Guard has been in Orleans County for about a month, first filling sandbags and now stacking them at properties along the lake. Many of the National Guardsmen are working five days and then getting two days off, before another five-day shift.

The National Guard worked with local officials to get the sandbags in place before an increased chance of flooding is expected, beginning at 6 p.m. today. That flood warning from the National Weather Service continues until 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The water from Johnson Creek is right up to the cottage owned by Gary Hudson. The National Guard would build a wall of sandbags to help protect the property.

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Lakeshore flood warning in effect beginning at 6 p.m. today

Photo by Tom Rivers: Orleans County Legislator John DeFilipps rakes driftwood and picks up stones from a breakwall where waves have thrown some of the rock into his yard on Park Road in Carlton. DeFilipps has one of three houses where a road has been washed out. DeFilipps reached the house by rolling up his pantlegs and walking through the water.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 June 2019 at 4:45 pm

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a lakeshore flood warning from 6 p.m. today until 8 a.m. Tuesday, and includes Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, northern Cayuga and Oswego counties.

A warning means the weather event is imminent or has already begun. In this case its lakeshore flooding, due to the combination of very high lake levels and moderately strong west to northwest winds.

That will result in greater wave action and an increase in lakeshore flooding on the southern shoreline of Lake Ontario, the Weather Service said.

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Bomb Squad removes flare that washed up on shore in Kent

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 May 2019 at 1:46 pm

Photos courtesy of Lindsay Fredendall

KENT – The Monroe County Bomb Squad was called to Orleans County on Saturday to remove a flare used by the Canadian Navy. The flare was found along the shore on West Jones Beach Drive.

Lindsay Fredendall and her children were visiting family when they found the flare at about 7 p.m. She called 911 and the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office responded along with the Bomb Squad.

The flare was packaged up and removed at about 9:30 p.m.

Mike Mele, chef deputy for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, said flares occasionally wash up along the shoreline in Orleans County.

The flares don’t always had a complete burn. In those cases, if they dry out, they could reignite. The one on Saturday was empty, Mele said.

“We want to warn lakeshore residents if you are out walking and see one, call 911,” Mele said today. “If you come across one, don’t touch it.”

Mele said three of the military flares washed up in Orleans County last year. The flares are contained in an 18 ½-inch aluminum cylinders.

Law enforcement removed the flare that was found along the shoreline in Carlton on Saturday.

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450 feet of AquaDam placed at Oak Orchard on the Lake

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 May 2019 at 5:24 pm

Another AquaDam headed to Ed Rose Shores in Kendall

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT Breeze – Mike Walsh walks by the AquaDam that was put in his yard today by the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

Walsh has lived at Oak Orchard on the Lake in Carlton the past 22 years. Lake Ontario has been steadily rising this spring and the waves are already crashing over a new breakwall that was put in for him and his neighbors last year.

Walsh said the breakwalls have better secured the property for likely flooding this year, compared to the high lake levels in 2017. That year Walsh put in 4,000 sandbags to try to fend off the high waters.

“We were hoping this wouldn’t happen again,” he said.

J.P. Przybychen of the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control checks pumps for the AquaDam. Przybychen and three co-workers from OFPC started spreading out the AquaDam about 8:30 this morning. He estimated at 3:30 p.m. today it had about one more hour to go before it was full.

The AquaDam is 450 feet long and is in three sections, two at 100 feet and one at 250. Inside are two tubes or “bladders” that are like thick garbage bags, which are wrapped in the thick outer layer of rubber.

The AquaDam will likely stay all summer and into the fall, until the lake levels go down.

Another AquaDam will be placed in Kendall in the next few days by a section of Ed Rose Shores, pending delivery of the AquaDam, said Dale Banker, director of emergency management for Orleans County.

He reached out to the state about the availability of the AquaDams.

When the Aqua Dams are no longer needed, the water will be pumped back into the lake.

In addition to the AquaDams, the National Guard has been in Orleans County the past two days filling sandbags. They placed about 1,000 at th Green Harbor Campground and Marina.

Walsh, the Oak Orchard resident, thanked the local and state officials for putting the AquaDam in place.

“This will do the job,” he said.

The waves crash against the breakwalls at Oak Orchard on the Lake this afternoon. The AquaDam provides a big layer of protection from the invading water.

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National Guard helps stack sandbags for campground as lake begins flooding

Photos by Tom Rivers: Lake Ontario crashes into the shoreline at Green Harbor Campground in Carlton today. Sandbags remain from two years ago when there was significant flooding and erosion at the campground.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 May 2019 at 3:31 pm

CARLTON – Barb and Don Anderson, owners of Green Harbor Campground and Marina in Carlton, hoped 2017 was just a blip, a one-time event when Lake Ontario flooded the campground, chewing away precious land.

The Andersons spent the fall of 2017 and much of last year raising the land about 3 feet near the lake and Perch Creek. They put in rocks and lots of dirt, restoring washed out land.

Photo courtesy of Barb Anderson: Members of the National Guard stack sandbags along Perch Creek, which is starting to flood into the campground.

Photo courtesy of Steven Anderson: Eight members of the National Guard arrived this afternoon to begin stacking about 1,000 sandbags at the campground, a task that will continue on Friday.

Green Harbor opened for a new season on May 1, and the Andersons have been welcoming back their guests who stay at 86 seasonal sites.

They were all ready for months of relaxation in the quiet campground community off Lakeshore Road, near the Yates town line. But everyone is feeling anxious as Lake Ontario rises.

“We thought they wouldn’t let this happen again, but it’s happening again,” Mrs. Anderson said today, while waiting for the National Guard to arrive to help stack sandbags.

Barb Anderson is worried as Perch Creek starts to flood.

She estimates the family invested about $100,000 in putting in new fill, docks and restoring a jetty. That work with the jetty has already come mostly undone after being knocked away by the hard-charging waves.

The Andersons have owned Green Harbor for 14 years. They didn’t have a flooding problem until two years ago. Last year started to get high, but the lake backed off and it was a good season, she said.

However, the family didn’t charge many of the campers in 2018 after what they endured the previous year. The Andersons wanted to start recovering financially this year.

She appreciates the sand bags which were dropped off by the Carlton Highway Department. They will be stacked along the edge of Perch Creek, hopefully to stop the water from reaching some of the camp sites.

“It’s starting to flood,” she said. “We have to save the land.”

There are about 1,000 sandbags at Green Harbor.

The high waters nearly cover the big rocks at the mouth of Perch Creek at the campground and marina.

There isn’t much room left before the lake reaches this campsite along the shoreline.

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Western portion of Parkway reopens after being closed for winter

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 April 2019 at 12:04 pm

CARLTON – The New York State Department of Transportation today announced the stretch of Lake Ontario State Parkway west of Route 98 in the Town of Carlton is now open to all traffic following its seasonal closure during the winter months.

The 2-mile section of the Parkway closed in November for the winter. The DOT has closed that section of the roads in recent winters to save on de-icing materials, equipment and repairs to damaged pavement.

The 2-mile section is between Lakeside Beach State Park and Route 98 in the Town of Carlton. About 800 cars travel this section every day, the DOT has said.

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100K fish – steelhead and salmon – delivered to Oak Orchard

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 April 2019 at 3:25 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

POINT BREEZE – Dave Agness of Honeoye Falls helps a team of volunteers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation release 10,000 steelhead into pens this afternoon at the Oak Orchard River. The DEC also brought along 90,200 Chinook salmon.

Charter boat captains and other volunteers have been raising fish in pens in the Oak Orchard River since 1998. This was the first pen-rearing project on the south shore of the lake. Now there are many.

Dave Agness guides the steelhead into one of the pens. The DEC delivered 10,000 steelhead (rainbow trout) and 90,200 Chinook salmon to the Oak Orchard River today.

The fish are small right now. They will spend the next 3 to 3 ½ weeks in pens, and will be given lots of food. They will nearly double in size when they are released into Lake Ontario.

Raising them in pens at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina increases their survival rate, and also helps them to imprint on the Oak Orchard River. That boosts the chances they will come back when they are mature in about 3 to 4 years.

The DEC brought two trucks with tanks full of fish that were from the Altmar Hatchery in northern New York.

Mark Licata of Greece helps with the fish stocking. Licata and Agness are both members of the Seth Green chapter of Trout Unlimited in Rochester, which has about 500 members.

A small steelhead is headed for one of the pens.

There are four pens that are 20 feet long and about 6 feet wide for the Chinook salmon. There are also two new pens the same size for the steelhead. Students at the WeMoCo BOCES in Spencerport helped weld and build the two new pens for the steelhead.

The pens have automated feeders with food provided by the DEC.

Bob Songin, a charter boat captain, takes a turn guiding the fish into the pens. Songin has been an active volunteer with the pen-rearing since it started more than 20 years ago.

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Apple growers from all over the world come to Orleans for inspiration

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 February 2019 at 8:24 am

6 local farms highlighted on tour for International Fruit Tree Association

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENT – Roger Bannister, owner of Excelsior Farms in Kent, gives a tour of a block of apple trees on Route 98 near Lake Ontario.

Excelsior was one of six apple farms in Orleans County on a tour Tuesday by the International Tree Fruit Association. There were 350 people on the tour with apple growers from Washington, Michigan and other states as well as growers from Australia, Israel, Canada, China and New Zealand.

“We have a lot of cutting-edge growers,” said Craig Kahlke, a fruit specialist with Cornell’s Lake Ontario Fruit Program. “They each are featuring something different. The goal is to help put more money in growers’ pockets.”

The IFTA is having its annual conference in Rochester. The conference was in New Zealand last year. The four-day conference is offering growers tips on reducing costs and increasing efficiencies.

Rod Farrow, co-owner of Fish Creek Orchards (formerly known as Lamont Fruit Farm) in Waterport, is the current president of the International Tree Fruit Association.

Tour buses stopped at Excelsior Farms and five other apple orchards in Orleans County on Tuesday. There were 350 people on the tour.

Excelsior Farms has a high-density orchard with multi-leader trees. Using multi-leader trees saves farms from planting more trees, compared to ones that are one leader. Excelsior also spaces the rows at 8.5 feet. That distance allows for lots of sunshine on the trees.

Other farms on the tour included:

• Kast Farms in Albion, which showcased a Geneva rootstock trial.

• Sandy Knoll Farms in Lyndonville, which demonstrated three-dimensional to two-dimensional tree architecture conversion.

• Fish Creek Orchards, formerly known as Lamont Fruit Farm in Waterport, which discussed a robot-ready fruiting wall and bloom thinning trials, where a robot takes images of a tree and helps to quickly identify how many apples need to be removed for an optimum crop.

• Zingler Farms in Kendall, which featured for an organized vertical canopy. The trees are very similar and that increases predictability, making it easier for workers to thin and prune trees.

• Orchard Dale Farms in Carlton demonstrated grafted blocks using beaver and side grafts.

Photo courtesy of Molly Zingler: Mike Zingler, right, and his son James were featured speakers on the tour of Zingler Farms in Kendall.

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