State leaders tour Lake Ontario flooding, issue emergency work permits for homeowners

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It is a problem that gets worse with the rising water of Lake Ontario - erosion of the shoreline.

Senator Patty Ritchie and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation got a look at the vanishing bank of Mexico Point Park.

"Over several years I've seen a lot of flooding incidents. This is unique because it's a long-term high water incident. And now we have historic levels on Lake Ontario. We're not only battling protection of homes but also stabilizing shorelines," Ken Lynch, executive deputy commissioner with the Department of Environmental Conservation, said.

DEC leaders also toured Fair Haven homes that sit on the Little Sodus Bay.

The state set up mobile command centers.

DEC workers are helping property owners with shoreline issues.

Not only are they instructing them on how to keep the water from eating up their land, they are also issuing emergency permits, so the work can start quickly.

Senator Ritchie said lawmakers also want to help.

She is sponsoring a bill that would set up a $55 million grant program to help those affected by the water.

"The bigger picture is the devastation for the small businesses that only have a three month time frame to pretty much to do most of the business they'll do all year," Sen. Ritchie, said.

Sen. Ritchie said she hopes her fellow lawmakers move quickly to pass the bill in order to get some much needed relief to everyone affected by the high water.

To apply for a emergency general permit, visit a DEC regional office at the locations listed below:

  • Syracuse - 615 Erie Blvd West
  • Cortland- 1285 Fisher Ave
  • Sherburne- 2715 State Route 80
  • Kirkwood- 1679 NYS Route 11
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