Survey data and photos, public testimony and resources related to the 2017 Lake Ontario record high water level event are available on the New York Sea Grant website.
The page includes testimony from Mary Austerman, coastal community development specialist, at two public hearings; a spreadsheet of results from the NYSG-Cornell University 2017 high water survey; a presentation of survey results; a clickable story map with aerial photos and text descriptions during high water level in June 2017 at locations from Braddock Bay in Monroe County to Stony Creek in Jefferson County; a photo gallery of high water impact images, audio and video reporting on the flooding event; and a mold remediation video.
NYSG partnered with Scott Steinschneider and Richard Stedman at Cornell University to develop and implement the 2017 high water level impact survey and document the parcel-level impacts of the event on waterfront properties, identify areas most vulnerable to future flooding and verify existing flood-risk modeling.
Data results from the summary of 490 validated high water survey responses by Lake Ontario property owners in the state include 97 percent reporting nearshore inundation, 68 percent outbuilding inundation; over 60 percent inundation of foundation and/or main structure first floor; 82 percent reporting not having flood insurance; 70 percent reporting some level of erosional damage to nearshore areas, 44 percent to outbuildings, 25 percent to main structure; 49 percent reporting moderate to severe land loss to erosion; 58 percent reporting moderate to severe damage to shoreline protection, i.e. vertical or sloping wall; and 61 percent reporting an overall impact of 7-10 with 1 as no impact, 10 severe.
In a separate project, environmental consultants Thomas Hart and Geoffrey Steadman developed the story map with aerial photos providing a visual tour of high water impact along the Lake Ontario shoreline near peak water levels in June 2017. NYSG provided funding in part for the aerial photography. NYSG provided materials to assist an online survey by Conservation Ontario on behalf of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee, and open to Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline property owners in Canada and New York.
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