Many homeowners along lake Ontario are still repairing their damaged properties after this Spring’s record high water levels.
Thanks to a $20 million grant, homeowners will get some extra help with those efforts. The grant offers funding to lake shore homeowners to help them recover and rebuild.
This summer hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Lockport resident Roger Voss.
“The water level was higher than our parking lot, higher than the floor in the yacht club, and too high to use the decks,” Voss said. “It’s been a long battle here to try to stay as close to normal as possible.”
Voss is a member of the Olcott Yacht Club in Newfane. He says they’ve dealt with high water levels in lake Ontario before, and each time the damage from erosion and flooding add up
“Two years ago we lost this whole deck,” he said. “The sheet paneling the concrete all of it was in the creek. We had to pay 100-thousand dollars plus to get it rebuilt.”
He says it’s not just the club that’s suffered, but homeowners all along the shoreline.
“Pumps under your house just to keep the floors almost dry,” Voss said. “The cottage over here the water was washing right at dock level and floor level with the pump going constantly to be able to live in your house.”
To help home and property owners recover, New York State is offering money through the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative.
Although Voss is glad homeowners have the chance to apply for fundind, he wished the state would do more.
“We need a better solution that will last in the long term and that means getting the lake levels to the norm that we’ve had for the last 100 years,” he said.
Back in May, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo formed a commission aimed at strengthening lake shore communities from future floods.
The application process for the grant begins on October 1st. You can apply at hcr.ny.gov. The application will be open for one month.