February 3, 2018
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Calls on the Federal Government to Assist New York in Protecting Communities Along Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Shoreline from Flooding

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Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a letter to Colonel Adam Czekanski calling for a strong federal-state partnership to ensure the protection of flood-prone communities along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline long-term. The letter can be viewed here. The list of sites is available here.

 

A text of the letter is available below.

 

Dear Colonel Czekanski:

 

Following the historic flooding along the Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River shoreline, New York continues its efforts to protect the families, homes, businesses and communities across the region. This crisis will not simply recede with the water - we need a strong federal-state partnership to ensure the protection of our communities over the long term. 

 

With on-going monitoring of water levels indicating there is a serious threat for renewed coastal flooding in 2018, this issue demands focused attention and support from the federal government. To combat these new threats, I am requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) implement emergency protections for the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River through the USACE Advanced Measures program. 

 

New Yorkers cannot be left to suffer another year of damaging floods with no additional protection. Pursuant to P.L. 84-99, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq and ER 500-1-1, the state has provided an initial candidate list of 90 sites from Cayuga, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Wayne, Oswego, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Erie and Chautauqua counties. They represent the preliminary at-risk public and privately-owned areas for evaluation and discussion with USACE. 

 

New York has led the way in providing more than $67 million to protect impacted New Yorkers and we are taking every step to provide relief and help this beleaguered region recover. But our resources are not inexhaustible. Federal support, through USACE programs, is critical to the protection of the shoreline. We will also work with the New York Congressional Delegation to authorize a USACE comprehensive assessment of LakeOntario/St. Lawrence River shoreline, and how to best protect it against future storms. 

 

In addition, I've directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Roger Parrino to develop a series of aggressive strategies that would allow the International Joint Commission to more effectively manage high water levels to protect these shoreline communities. 

We appreciate the willingness and ability the USACE demonstrated following Superstorm Sandy. I urge you and the new leadership at USACE show that same willingness to assist New Yorkers along the Southern shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

 

Sincerely,

,

ANDREW M. CUOMO

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