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Lake Ontario regulators foresee rising water

The agency that regulates outflows from Lake Ontario said this week that local governments and property owners need to begin planning for high water this year.

The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board said a peak of 247.7 feet above sea level or more is "foreseeable."

Last year, Niagara County officials began placing sandbags in low-lying lakeshore communities when the lake reached 248 feet. New York State declared a state of emergency when the waters reached 248.8 feet. The lake peaked at 249.2 feet in Olcott last year.

Friday, the lake level was 246.5 feet, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps forecast the lake to rise 3 inches in the next month, but the international board said that depends on the weather.

"All high-outflow strategies that deviate above Plan 2014 flows will depend on future weather events that impact downstream capacity, such as the timing of spring snowmelt and precipitation," the board's statement said.

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