On a trip this week to announce financial relief for homeowners affected by recent flooding in western New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had strong words about a U.S.-Canadian commission responsible for maintaining water levels in Lake Ontario. Watch video below.
Cuomo and other politicians are blaming the International Joint Commission for keeping lake levels high, despite record rainfall, to ensure wetlands are protected in drier months.
“There is no doubt that the IJC blew it,” said the governor. “I don’t believe the federal government’s appointees are doing enough to defend the United States and defend New York.
The governor renewed his call for the International Joint Commission to help provide some relief by lowering water levels in the dam-controlled Lake Ontario.
“I think the IJC has made a series of blunders . . . this can’t go on,” the governor added. “They’re doing tremendous damage and it has to stop.”
The IJC is a U.S.-Canadian committee headed by six commissioners and is charged with managing the water levels and flow of the shared resource of boundary waters between the two countries, including Lake Ontario. The IJC implemented an initiative called Plan 2014 that raised water levels in Lake Ontario in an attempt to restore shoreline ecosystems.
Cuomo on Monday toured damaged homes in recently flooded areas and announced $7 million in new funding for affected homeowners.
The most recent funding, in addition to the $15 million made available to municipalities and small businesses earlier in the month, allocates $40,000 per household in reimbursement for repairs made to structural damage caused by the flooding.
“As water levels remain at an historic high throughout this region, it is vital that we continue to provide relief and resources to residents and business owners who have been impacted by this unprecedented flooding,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Monroe County after touring the damage cause in homes near the shore.
“With this additional funding to provide direct aid to affected homeowners, we are ensuring that residents along the coast are able to make needed repairs to their homes and recover from the flooding,” added Cuomo