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Lake Ontario outflows — and inflows — set all-time January record

More water than ever before was allowed to flow out of Lake Ontario during January, yet the lake level continued to rise, according to an announcement Friday from the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board.

The board, a subsidiary of the International Joint Commission, alters the outflows past the Moses-Saunders Dam at Massena and Cornwall, Ont., to try to avoid flooding.

Those outflows averaged 2.43 million gallons every second during January, almost 200,000 gallons per second more than the previous January record, which was set in 1987.

But the waters continued to rise, because the amount of water entering the lake from the Niagara River, from other streams and from precipitation also set a record: 2.68 million gallons per second, according to the board.

The Army Corps of Engineers said the lake level Friday stood at 246.5 feet above sea level, which is 6 inches higher than a month ago and 7 inches higher than a year ago at this time.

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