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Lake Ontario outflows set February record

The amount of water allowed to flow out of Lake Ontario last month was the most ever for February, the International Joint Commission said Tuesday.

But despite those efforts, IJC spokesman Frank Bevacqua said the lake level remains 11.8 inches above the long-term average, although it is 1.2 inches below where it stood at this time last year, when high water began to overflow the lake in locations such as Olcott and Wilson.

Eventually, New York State and its lakeshore counties declared states of emergency because of flooding and erosion.

Bevacqua said outflow statistics date back as far as 1900, although formal regulation didn't begin until the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1960. He said high outflows will continue, since water levels in the western Great Lakes remain above normal.

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