Walczyk issues statement about rising water levels on Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River

WATERTOWN, NY — “The fears of many residents and business owners are starting to be realized: high waters levels along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario have returned. Water and debris are already spilling into streets and docks are disappearing beneath the waves or outright washed down river due to high water levels that, in some spots, are higher than they were in 2017 at this same time.

Throughout the day, my office has been in contact with local elected officials and emergency personnel in areas where those fears are quickly becoming reality. Conditions are worsening by the hour, no sign of relief is in sight as water levels are expected to continue rising throughout the week.

The IJC has continued to drag its feet and shown a lack of measured response when it comes to addressing the need to effectively regulate outflows. In coalition with many of my colleagues in the state legislature, I have pointed out the importance of ensuring officials take a proactive approach and work to ensure we don’t see a repeat of 2017. Unfortunately, that appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Residents of Jefferson and St Lawrence counties shouldn’t have to worry about taking on the chin every year because of the IJCs inability to address this in a way that will minimize any possible damage to US and Canadian residents.

At this time, I’m calling on State officials to utilize and mobilize every available resource to help mitigate and prevent another year of historic damage.

I promise that I’ll be working day and night to ensure those who need help receive it and residents and businesses don’t see a repeat performance of 2017. Rest assured, I will utilize every available resource within my ability to protect the interests of those that live here in the Front Yard of America.”