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High winds lead to increased water levels

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WILSON HILL - Last weekend’s high winds led to increased water levels on the St. Lawrence River that led to underwater docks and debris and garbage on their lawns for some shoreline residents.

Dalton P. Foster, a local water level expert who is also the president of the Wilson Hill Association, said he began receiving calls from Wilson Hill residents about the water levels late last week.

“They went up two to three feet,” he said. “A lot of the docks were under water. It was creating a lot of problems.”

Mr. Foster said he then contacted Environment Canada, who serve as advisors for the International Joint Commission’s control board, and they agreed to let more water through the dam.

“They’re going back down now,” Mr. Foster said, referring to the water levels. “Now that the winds have died down and they have increased the outflow the water levels are going to go back down that two to three feet.”

Mr. Foster explained the sustained period of high winds led to the rise of water levels in the river.

The gates at the Iroquois Dam near Waddington were lowered on Wednesday in response to an order by the International St. Lawrence River Board of Control.

The order to lower the gates was issued to NYPA and Ontario Power Generation, which jointly operate the international Robert Moses-Robert H. Saunders Power Dam.

Iroquois Dam is located upstream of the power dam and regulates the outflow from Lake Ontario and the water level of Lake St. Lawrence. The gates of the Iroquois Dam are being lowered to help prevent Lake St. Lawrence, the section of the river located between Waddington and Massena, from rising too high.



The lowered gates at the Iroquois Dam will require recreational boats to use Iroquois Lock to pass through the dam. The gates will be lowered until further notice.

“When you get sustained southwest winds like we had a few days ago you get a setup, which means there is more water coming in from Lake Ontario,” Mr. Foster said, adding that the dam still releasing the same amount of water, levels are bound to increase.

“If you have a lot more water coming in than you have going out, water levels will go up,” he said.

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