First responders pack sandbags in Olcott to prepare for rising water

OLCOTT, N.Y. (WIVB)- It’s was team effort to fill 60,000 sandbags in Olcott on Saturday.

More than 100 firefighters from Niagara County helped the Olcott Fire Company and other local agencies prepare for rising waters. They worked to reinforce the northern shore.

“Setting sandbags for the residents, hoping to delay the water and try to keep them in their houses as long as we can,” said Chief Stephen Miller, with the Olcott Fire Company.

Lake Ontario is higher than it has been in more than 40 years. Officials told News 4 it will peak on about May 14, when it’s expected to be about a foot higher than it is now.

“The concern is the minimal flooding we’re getting right now will turn from moderate to extreme flooding where these residents are at,” said Jonathan Schultz, the director of emergency services. “We have a lot of people who live in these areas, they may have to be evacuated when the time comes.”

They deployed 14 pallets of sandbags on Saturday, to help protect homes and property.

Schultz told us they are also working to protect critical infrastructure like the sewer and gas systems.

About a third of the sandbags packed were distributed. Another 40,000 will be kept at headquarters, ready to go out.

“It’s basically day by day watching what the weather does and as these levels go up, see what happens.” said Schultz.

If you think you’ll need sandbags at your home officials said you should contact the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, the main number is (716) 438-3393.

You can also contact your local fire company.

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