Find us on Facebook


Carlton hunter who fell from tree stand thankful for help from first responders

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 October 2019 at 1:02 pm

Provided photo: Tyler Jurs is pictured with a deer last year. Jurs was badly injured Monday when he fell from a tree stand.

CARLTON – A hunter who fell from a tree stand Monday is thankful for the volunteer firefighters, COVA medics and Mercy Flight helicopter that came to his rescue.

Tyler Jurs, 27, was building a tree stand off Lake Ontario State Parkway in Carlton on land owned by Lynn-Ette and Sons, a farm where his brother works and father recently retired from.

Tyler was putting steel steps in an ash tree. He was about 8 feet up, standing partly on a branch when it snapped. Tyler plunged downward and one of the steel steps tore into his thigh. He had a huge gash from above his knee to his hip.

He called 911, and used his own belt as a tourniquet. He learned about the importance of trying to stop the bleed as a member of the Carlton Volunteer Fire Company the past two years.

He was about 400 feet from the road. He credits the makeshift tourniquet for keeping him alert.

Matt Hughson, a Carlton firefighter, was the first on scene. He saw Jurs’ truck by the road and headed into the woods. He was a welcome sight for Jurs.

Another Carlton firefighter, Seth Dumrese, appeared and put an actual tourniquet on Jurs.

“It was nice to see familiar faces,” Jurs said today. “They were my friends. It was comforting to see them.”

He still needed to wait in the woods for an all-terrain vehicle with a backboard. The Lyndonville Fire Department was contacted and they brought the ATV. They transported Jurs to the road, and he was then taken by Mercy Flight.

He was discharged from Strong Memorial Hospital on Thursday. He is taking some steps on his feet, while being on the mend. He looks forward to getting back to work with the DOT, where he is a maintenance worker and drives a plow truck during the winter.

Jurs is used to responding to others in need. He now has a deeper appreciation for firefighters, medics and Mercy Flight.

“You guys are all amazing,” Jurs posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday. “You guys have no idea how much it means to have you all there and reassuring me that I would be OK. Without you guys could have been a totally different story.”

Return to top

NY will sue IJC for water level ‘mismanagement’ that damaged shoreline communities

Photo by Tom Rivers: An employee with the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control checks pumps on May 10 for a 450-foot-long AquaDam along the shoreline in Carlton, just west of the Oak Orchard Harbor. The state and local municipalities have tried to protect property and fight erosion from the high lake waters.

Posted 9 October 2019 at 1:30 pm

‘We will not shoulder the burden of the destruction that is a direct result of the IJC’s gross mismanagement of Lake Ontario water levels, and the IJC needs to compensate New York for the severe damage to the homes and businesses along the shoreline. That’s what this lawsuit is all about.’ – Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is filing a lawsuit against the International Joint Commission for its mismanagement of Lake Ontario water levels that caused catastrophic damage to shoreline communities.

As a direct result of the IJC’s mismanagement, extremely high water levels exacerbated damage to residences and businesses, swept away large swaths of the shoreline, and upended the lives of thousands of New Yorkers twice in the past three years. Property owners have suffered severe erosion and loss of vegetation, while the State sustained more than $4 million in property damage that it still has not been able to fully repair. The lawsuit argues that the IJC must compensate the State for the destruction resulting from water level mismanagement.

“The facts of the matter are plain: The IJC’s function is to manage the Lake Ontario water levels, and they failed – period. They have been wholly unresponsive and have taken no action to make the situation better,” Governor Cuomo said. “We will not shoulder the burden of the destruction that is a direct result of the IJC’s gross mismanagement of Lake Ontario water levels, and the IJC needs to compensate New York for the severe damage to the homes and businesses along the shoreline. That’s what this lawsuit is all about.”

Specifically, the complaint asserts the following causes of action:

• Negligence:  IJC breached its duty by failing to take sufficient steps to protect the interests of New York property owners on the Lake Ontario shoreline.

• Nuisance:  Based on the severe flooding that resulted from IJC’s mismanagement, IJC was or should have been substantially certain that its conduct would cause an invasion of the State’s interest in the use and enjoyment of its land.

• Trespass: IJC failed to increase outflows from Lake Ontario to lower water levels and abate flooding, which constituted an invasion of property.

In an attempt to mitigate exposure to property owners, the State repeatedly called on the IJC to release as much water from the Moses Saunders Dam as possible. Rather than protect shoreline communities, the IJC has favored commercial shipping interests. In a June 8 letter to the U.S. and Canadian Chairpersons of the IJC, the Governor, on behalf of the State of New York, called on the commission to take immediate action to correct its water management protocols to remedy the ongoing threat to the citizens and businesses caused by Lake Ontario flooding.

The Governor demanded that the IJC reimburse New York for its costs, and make additional funds available for resiliency projects and other protective measures made necessary by the IJC’s acts and omissions. The IJC has failed to address any of these demands. Instead, the IJC has recently reduced the outflows slightly notwithstanding continued record-high water levels. As laid out in the DEC’s complaint, the IJC can no longer hide behind a claim of sovereign immunity and must now answer for its negligent conduct and failure to adhere to obligatory requirements to address high water levels.  The IJC’s failure to take action compels this legal action.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Time and time again, Governor Cuomo has called on the IJC to put the safety and integrity of New York’s shoreline communities ahead of shipping interests. And repeatedly, the IJC failed to act. New York State is making significant investments to improve the resiliency of homes and businesses along Lake Ontario. We are now demanding that the IJC do the responsible thing, and take action to safeguard our communities from high water.”

In 2017, New York State responded quickly to the crisis and took immediate action to protect communities by delivering critical state resources to help communities and businesses rebuild. The State committed $117 million to rebuild communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline that were devastated by high water levels in 2017, only to once again this year experience record-high water levels in these same communities. Following these events, the IJC should have recognized the significant potential of future devastation from rising waters and taken action to lessen the extent of damage caused by flood waters.

Assemblyman Michael Norris, R-Lockport, said, “Taxpayers and businesses along the southern shore of Lake Ontario have suffered significant damages and this legal recourse is necessary to obtain justice for them moving forward. I commend Governor Cuomo for initiating this action.”

This year, and to prepare for anticipated, future high water levels on the lake, Governor Cuomo established the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, or REDI Commission and committed up to $300 million to support its efforts. The multi-agency REDI Commission is charged with developing a plan to increase the resiliency of infrastructure along Lake Ontario’s waterfront while strengthening the region’s local economies, which are heavily dependent on summer tourism.

The commission is currently examining areas susceptible to damage caused by the rising waters, including those hit hard in 2017, in order to develop a package of new state actions ranging from legislative changes to aid packages to executive actions that will not just rebuild the shoreline, but improve resiliency to withstand unforeseen weather events. The state anticipates it will have spent $45 million in response and damage costs for 2019, and as part of REDI’s comprehensive examination of projects to promote resiliency and economic development in the affected region.

In addition to delivering millions in funding to help restore residents and businesses affected by the rising water-levels on Lake Ontario, New York State has deployed more than 1.5 million sandbags, hundreds of pumps, and 11,000 feet of temporary dams in eight counties along Lake Ontario in preparation for damage caused by high water levels.  New York State will continue to take aggressive action to ensure residents and businesses are protected from these high-water levels, but the state should not have to bear the costs without any action from the IJC.

Editor’s Note: State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, issued this statement: “Today’s announcement that New York State would be suing the International Joint Commission for damages caused by flooding connected to Plan 2014 is long overdue. Although the Attorney General’s office declined to act on my proposal to sue the federal government for damages caused by Lake Ontario’s flooding back in May, I am pleased to see they have had a change of heart and will now seek financial compensation for the residents, localities, and businesses along the lake’s shores.

“Lake Ontario property owners, localities, and businesses have been devastated by flooding in two of the last three years in large part due to the International Joint Commission’s Plan 2014, which was approved in the last days of the Obama administration. That is why I was the first elected official to call on going after the International Joint Commission for damages. These businesses, localities, and residents have been forced to live with dangerous flooding that has caused immense financial strain due to the implementation of Plan 2014. New York State cannot continue to be the sole provider of emergency relief funding for residents impacted by Lake Ontario’s flooding, and it is time for the federal government to take responsibility for the damage it has caused.”

Return to top

State sets aside $20 million to help homeowners with this year’s Lake Ontario flooding

Photo by Tom Rivers: Members of the National Guard work to put sandbags by a house on Lake Ontario in Carlton on June 2. This house is on the peninsula with Johnson Creek near Kuckville.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2019 at 8:50 am

Homeowner application process will begin on October 1

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced homeowners affected by this year’s Lake Ontario flooding can apply for up to $50,000 in state assistance to help offset damages to their primary residences. The homeowner application period will begin Oct. 1 and will close Oct. 31.

The state is making $20 million available for homeowners out of a $300 million set aside in the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, or REDI.

“Hundreds of homeowners and businesses experienced significant damage to their properties during this year’s record breaking flooding on Lake Ontario,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to invest in strengthening infrastructure along the shoreline for the long term, we are also helping homeowners in the near term get the resources they need to make necessary repairs to their homes. This critical funding will help those homeowners devastated by flooding build back stronger than before.”

Applicants are eligible to receive funding for costs not covered by other sources, such as insurance, and include primary homeowners who reside in the eight counties associated with REDI – Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Wayne – and meet the below criteria:

• Homeowners who were impacted by flooding Jan. 1, 2019 through September 30, 2019 are entitled to apply for funding.

• Applications received between October 1, 2019 and October 31, 2019.

• Priority will be given to applications that address damage incurred to primary residences which sustained direct physical flood-related damage that threatens the safety of the home.

• The Lake Ontario recovery initiative is focused on the resiliency of the shoreline as a whole, and applications that address stand-alone shoreline damage that threatens the safety of a primary residence will be reviewed after funding decisions have been made for projects proposed through the REDI process. In some cases, these regionally significant projects may provide protections for individual homes.

To sign up for updates and be notified when the application is available, visit HCR’s website.

The National Guard has been busy in Orleans County, putting sand bags by homes in danger from the Lake Ontario flooding. This photo was taken June 2 in Carlton at the peninsula near Kuckville.

Return to top

Volunteers fill 8 garbage bags with trash at Point Breeze

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 August 2019 at 7:41 am

Photos courtesy of Dan Conrad

POINT BREEZE – A group of volunteers from DC Outdoors and the community met on Thursday evening and picked up trash at Point Breeze.

They filled eight bags. Dan Conrad of DC Outdoors urges people to help keep the Point clean. Leaving trash on the shore and in the waterway hurts a popular spot in Orleans County.

“It’s not only disgusting for us but for the wildlife also,” Conrad said.

He praised Charlie Miller, Beth Miller, David Twiss and the other volunteers for trying to keep the shoreline clean.

Some kids helped with the cleanup along the lake.

Return to top

29-pound salmon takes $4K grand prize in annual fishing derby

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2019 at 9:39 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Julie Schaeffer and her husband Mike hold Julie’s 29-pound, 6-ounce Chinook salmon which won the $4,000 grand prize in 2019 Rotary Fishing Derby.

The Schaeffers are from Sligo, Pa., and have been fishing in the derby since the 1980s. Mrs. Schaeffer also won the grand prize in 2017 with a salmon weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces.

The couple are both retired from a glass plant near their home. They bring a camper and their own boat to fish in Orleans County, timing their trip with the annual Rotary Fishing Derby, which lasts 16 days.

Mrs. Schaeffer said she caught the big fish on Friday with a 2-faced spinner, with one side having green spots and the other black spots, with a fly behind it.

Her husband has never won the grand prize, but did have a first place in the salmon division in a past derby, which was good for $500.

Larry Duckworth of Corfu won the salmon division and $500 for a 27-pound, 8-ounce salmon. His wife, Mary Duckworth, holds the third place rainbow trout at 13 pounds, 3 ounces.

There were about 325 participants in the derby, with fish eligible from the Niagara River to the Genesee River.

There was $8,800 in total cash prizes in four divisions – salmon, rainbow trout/steelhead, brown trout, and lake trout.

Besides $4,000 for the biggest fish, the four division leaders each get $500, followed by $300 for second, $200 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth.

There is also a $200 prize to the Orleans County resident who catches the biggest fish. (Jeff Newman of Lyndonville won with a salmon weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces.)

Laurie Janikowski of Sloan won the rainbow trout division with 17-pound, 15-ounce steelhead.

Keith Tessier of Hilton holds the first place lake trout at 18 pounds, 4 ounces. Tessier also had third place in rainbow trout.

Brian Gambell of Hilton holds a 15-pound, 7-ounce lake trout which was good for second place. He also has the second place brown trout at 13 pounds, 1 ounce – behind a 13-pound, 3-ounce brown trout caught by Georgia Barkdoll of McConnellsburg, Pa.

















Brayden Gambell, 9, of Hilton (left) holds the third place lake trout at 15 pounds, 3 ounces, while Mason Tessier, 8, of Hilton holds the fifth place lake trout at 14 pounds, 6 ounces.

Click here to see the full leaderboard.

Marlee Diehl addresses about 100 fishermen at the awards celebration at the Carlton Rec Hall. Diehl served as chairwoman of the committee that ran the derby, an event by the Albion Rotary Club. Richard Remley, club president, is at right. Mike Waterhouse, retired Orleans County sportsfishing coordinator, is in back left with Ed Fancher, treasurer of the derby.

Becky Karls sells raffle tickets at the event, which a fundraiser for the Rotary Club to do community projects, while also serving to help promote the fishery in Orleans County.

Cindy Perry and Bonnie Malackie, both Rotary Club members, sell 50/50 raffle tickets at the Carlton Rec Hall, which hosted the awards celebration.

Many local businesses also donated prizes for the event, including this fishing reel.

Return to top

Storm knocks down many trees, power for about 500 in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 August 2019 at 8:34 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – A utility pole was knocked down in Carlton in Winding Road, near Lake Ontario, just north of Kuckville today when a severe thunderstorm hit the area at about 6:30 p.m.

There are 473 National Grid customers without electricity in Orleans County, with 225 in Carlton in the Lakeside community just west of Lakeside Beach State Park.

A tree fell down near two houses on Lakeside Park Road, bringing down numerous wires.

National Grid also reported the following outages in Orleans: 93 on Ridge Road in western Gaines, Ridgeway near Oak Orchard Creek; 18 in Knowlesville; 75 in Millville; 36 in Ridgeway on 31; and 25 in Barre.

National Grid said the power is expected to be back on by midnight.

This tree fell by a house at the corner of Lakeside Road and Lakeview Drive in Carlton.

Photo courtesy of Gregory Smith: A tree snapped on Knowlesville Road in Ridgeway.

Photo courtesy of Cindy Robinson: This maple tree fell in Cindy Robinson’s yard on Portage Road in Ridgeway.

Allison Schoolcraft sent in this photo of limbs and leaves covering a yard on Portage Road in Ridgeway, between Knowlesville Road and Culvert Road.

Return to top

Bench at Marine Park dedicated in memory of Joey and Gene Haines

Posted 26 July 2019 at 11:26 am

Provided photo: Chris and Pat Haines sit on a bench dedicated to Chris’s aunt and uncle.

Courtesy of Frank Panczyszyn, member of Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association

CARLTON – The Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association dedicated a special concrete park bench at the Orleans County Marine Park near Point Breeze in memory of a special couple, the late Joey and Gene Haines.

They were longtime residents of Orleans County, deeply involved in the community, and were charter members of OONA 11 years ago. Gene and Joey purchased the former Barbary Coast restaurant at Point Breeze, making it their home, as well as a gathering place for many charitable community functions, including fundraisers for the Oak Orchard Lighthouse. Their home also served as a meeting place for the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association.

Joey and Gene were very special people who gave selflessly of themselves to a wide variety of passions, all within the community and the county they loved. As each passed on, donations were made to OONA in their honor. OONA decided to use these donations for this memorial bench, a fitting memory to the Haines couple. The bench is in the location where Joey and Gene were seen at OONA concerts over the years, handing out life jackets to children going down to the marina docks.

The dedication was made on Tuesday at OONA’s Summer Concert in the Park series. Among the 300 people in attendance were Chris and Pat Haines, who now reside in Savannah, Georgia. They had been long-time residents of Orleans County. Chris is the nephew of Gene Haines.  The bench will now be a lasting memory to Joey and Gene Haines.

Return to top

60 attend first youth fishing derby organized by DC Outdoors

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 July 2019 at 3:39 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – Avion Johnson, 11, of Medina holds an 11 ½-inch largemouth bass he caught this morning at Point Breeze in the first youth fishing derby organized by DC Outdoors.

DC Outdoors put on the event, which was followed by a cookout with prizes and awards at the Orleans County Marine Park. Dan Conrad, leader of the group, is trying to promote the outdoors in the community, especially with young people and families.

Several volunteers helped with the event, and many businesses and organizations donated prizes and items for the basket raffle.

There were 60 participants, and they all received a T-shirt about the derby.

Ben Spencer of Lyndonville helps his kids – Carly, 5, and Parker, 4 – in the fishing derby. Kids 5 and younger tried to catch fish at Captain’s Cove. The Parkers are shown under the Route 18 bridge that goes over Oak Orchard River.

Kids ages 6 to 10 fished at Point Breeze, with many trying their luck from the eastern pier.

Aubree McAdoo, 7, of Albion fishes from a dock at Point Breeze. She caught three fish in the derby.

Prizes were given in three age groups for most fish caught, longest fish and heaviest fish.

Older kids, ages 11 to 15, fished form the state boat launch on Archbald Road.

Caliyah Boston, 8, of Medina caught this fish. She used her grandfather’s fishing pole. DC Outdoors had fishing poles and tackle available for kids who didn’t have any.

Iyla Lilleby, 12, of Medina tries to catch a fish in the Oak Orchard Harbor. She said she caught two fish by noon.

Return to top

500 attend opening OONA concert with Dave Viterna Group

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 July 2019 at 8:27 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

CARLTON – The Dave Viterna Group performs Tuesday evening at the Orleans County Marine Park to kick off the summer concert series. There were about 500 people at the concert. The band members on Tuesday included from left: Dave Viterna, “Scooter” Scott Felice and Marty Hobbs.

The park is located on Route 98 in Point Breeze along the Oak Orchard River.

This is the 10thseason of concerts organized by the Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association. The rest of the concert calendar includes The Kid Kurry Band on July 9, The Who Dats on July 16, MAC on July 23, Jonesie & the Cruisers on July 30 and The Brick Band on Aug. 6.

Dave Viterna is the front man for the band, singing and playing the guitar. Marty Hobbs is in back as the bass guitar player.

The Oak Orchard Neighborhood Association uses proceeds from the concerts to give back to community organizations. Last year OONA divvied up $4,000 to seven community groups, said Jim Buckley, OONA’s president.

Marlene Serow sells 50/50 raffle tickets for OONA.

Patrick Furlong of OONA calls out the winning raffle tickets, which were picked by his grandchildren, Charlie and Nora. Instead of the usual 50/50, where OONA keeps half and the sole winner gets the other half, OONA picks two winners who each get 25 percent of the pot. The winners last night each received $202.

The Clarendon Lions Club is back selling grilled items and other food. From left include Kevin Johnson, Roger Boynton and Brian Collins.

Return to top

Archery Club hosts veterans and their families for fishing

Staff Reports Posted 24 June 2019 at 2:03 pm

Provided photos

CARLTON – More than 100 people – veterans and their family members – enjoyed going fishing on Sunday at St. Mary’s Archery Club.

The outing was the latest event organized and sponsored by the Orleans County PFC. Joseph P. Dwyer Peer to Peer Program.

The St. Mary’s Archery club hosted the event in conjunction with Dwyer volunteer coordinator Catherine Schmidt to bring veterans and their families together for a relaxing day to be spent with one another.

The VFW Post No. 1483 in Medina sponsored all the food and refreshments for the event.

This is what the program is all about bringing community partnerships together to make veterans and families in Orleans County feel supported for their service.

Veterans and their families enjoyed the sunshine, fishing, food, games and each other’s company.

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top

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.

Return to top