Hundreds of Greece residents gathered at Town Hall Thursday night for an update on preparations for possible Lake Ontario flooding this spring, and to hear how the town has spent $12 million in state funding to ready its defenses.
Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich says he's been told by the Army Corps of Engineers there's a 35% chance this spring for the kind of lakeshore flooding that hit in 2017 and 2019. To prevent the kind of damage seen in those years, the town has prepped its sewer systems so they don't flood and carry water back into the town. Earthen berms have been built up to keep Round Pond from flooding Edgemere Drive and the homes along it, and piling has been installed on the channel from Lake Ontario to Long Pond to help prevent flooding there. High capacity pumps have been bought to pump out flooded neighborhoods.
Most importantly, Reilich says the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board has essentially thrown the controversial Plan 2014 away and continues to release the maximum possible amount of water from the Lake. But Reilich, who also sits on the International Joint Commission that regulates the Great Lakes, says the last 100 years has never seen a three-year-period with as much water flowing into the Great Lakes as we now have. He says the Town of Greece is hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.