Olcott residents bracing for rising lake levels

OLCOTT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Many Olcott resident living near the Lake Ontario shoreline are keeping their eyes on the water’s level.

“I’ve been here 42 years and have never seen the lake like this,” said Roy Letcher, a lifelong Olcott resident.

“I walk down there every day and look at it,” said Jose Gabaeles, who has lived in Olcott right up the street from Lake Ontario for 13 years.

He says he is nervous about the water.

“It’s coming higher a little more,” said the longtime resident.

That’s happening as the winds are shifting and the water is coming back to the stateside coast. The wakes could crest at 5 to 8 feet as the wind picks up with gusts expected between 15 and 30mph.

The lake is expected to peak in the next two or three weeks.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office says lake levels are 39 inches above the annual average.

“We’re seeing increased water levels at the lake,” said Jon Schulz, the Niagara County Director of Emergency Management. “It has continued rising this week and with all the heavy rain we’re having, it’s not helping us. We’re having a lot more issues with shoreline erosion.”

Jon Schultz says hundreds of people are being impacted by the flooding

“At this point we don’t have any life safety issues going on,” said Schultz.

Schultz says they’re doing all they can to remove pooling water from roadways. As of right now they’re not evacuating any residents but they’re monitoring the lake shore closely.

“We’re having more and more damage every day,” said Schultz.

The EMS director is encouraging residents to download the New York Alerts app to get information right about flooding and evacuations right away.

 

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