Despite reductions, Lake Ontario outflows remain at record highs for September

Despite reductions, Lake Ontario outflows remain at record highs for September

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flooding lake ontario   HICKEY

Lake Ontario at the East Pier of Olcott Beach on May 14, 2019. Lake Ontario isn't the only one of the Great Lakes being affected by high water levels this year. (John Hickey/Buffalo News)

The international board that manages outflows from Lake Ontario said Friday that despite recent reductions, the amount of water flowing past the dam at Massena is the highest ever for this month.

From June 13 to Aug. 21, the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board of Control allowed almost 2.75 million gallons of water to leave the lake every second. Since then, there have been five reductions, including a cut to slightly below 2.45 million gallons per second, scheduled for 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Friday's lake level at Olcott was about 27 inches below the flood level of 249 feet, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lake Ontario has fallen 11 inches in the past month, the Army Corps of Engineers reported Friday.

"It will take time – even with well-above-average outflows – for the water levels to go down, as inflows from Lake Erie continue to be well above average. Water levels are primarily driven by water supplies, not by the outflows," the board statement said.

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