Niagara, Orleans Counties declare State of Emergency after rising water levels

Posted at 11:31 AM, Apr 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 06:38:25-04

Top federal, state, and town officials declared a State of Emergency in Niagara County today as rising lake levels are pushed higher ahead of the weekend.

Thursday, top Federal, state and local officials declared a State of Emergency in Niagara County.

Officials are holding a press conference today at 2:00 p.m. at the Olcott Yacht Club to outline preparation information in the event of flooding along the Lake Ontario shore, followed by a Q & A with the County Manager, the Niagara County Sheriff, and the Director of Emergency Services.

The county has been monitoring the lake level since last week after boaters were asked to observe a 500-foot no wake zone of the Lake Ontario shore.

7 Eyewitness News spotted people trying to kayak in high waters and raging waves.

"We were going to try fishing but all of a sudden the next thing you know the water is coming over the kayaks," said Ed Bergquist.

Officials are expecting the lake to crest on May 14, adding a foot to what it already has now. They say water can't be released because it will flood out Montreal.

"This water level right now is higher than it was in 1973," said a Niagara County official.

Officials say they have more than 30,000 sandbags ready to go.