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May. 20, 2022 | Friday
Local News
Flood prep ongoing in wake of fluctuating lake level
The dock at Navy Hall is almost completely submerged due to high water levels. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s staff is taking more measures to prevent flooding and protect the equipment from vandalism, as the water level in Lake Ontario continues to fluctuate.

Brett Ruck, the town’s manager of environmental services, made a presentation to the committee of the whole Monday night, addressing residents’ concerns and providing updates on flood prevention works.

The water levels are fluctuating up and down about an inch, said Ruck, and the water level hasn’t crested, according to Environment Canada.

“I don’t see that we’re going to be in a great panic that’s going to go much higher,” Ruck told council.

As of Tuesday, July 9, the water level is 75.83 metres, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The town’s operations staff have spent $224,604 so far on flood prevention in the Dock Area, according to a staff report dated July 4.

The bags and fencing on Mellville Street will be staying in place to prevent water from going over the curb.

River Beach Park will be chained off to protect the bladders, as some people have damaged the bags by jumping on them. Residents living nearby have expressed frustration, said Ruck, and it’s been “a challenge” to keep people away from the area so the park will be blocked off.

At the Ball’s Beach Park, the fencing will be moved closer to the shoreline so that people can still use the park but it will keep them away from the shoreline works as it is still a construction site.

Town staff has to hold off with the shoreline protection project as the water level is still too high for staff to see what is happening underwater. Once they put rocks into the water, it gets stirred up, Ruck said, explaining that the shoreline is already protected and he’s not “overly worried” if some water gets through.

“The stone is there. When the stone comes down a little bit and I can see what it is that I’m doing, I’m going to push that down and put it all in place,” Ruck told councillors.

The groyne – a rock island – will also have to be built at a later date once the water levels are down.

Ruck also said there will be an independent review to look at how the shoreline can be protected on a long-term basis.

Coun. Gary Burroughs praised town staff for the “amazing job” it’s doing to address the issue.