Lake Ontario: Property owners updated on funding

Problem was, officials assigned to dole out the funding soon realized the damage totals of claims filed far exceeded the $45 million total the state initially allocated, Welch said.
“Wouldn’t you know (it), that funding was $45-50 million short,” he said.
In response, after months of delay, state officials with the governor’s office began to allocate additional monies this year, Welch said. First came a combined state Assembly-Senate $10 million funding allocation in January, followed by an additional $40 million this spring as the state budget process moved along, bringing the entire total to more than $90 million – the amount initially requested, Welch pointed out.
“With the extra $50 million, it should cover everyone’s expenses. (So) what’s the issue (as to the delays)?” he asked.

Look like IJC could rectify this somehow with the state of NY.

Climate Change Contributed to Oroville Spillway Collapse, Study Says

The UCLA study highlights the inadequacies of decades-old infrastructure in the Golden State that were “designed for the climate of the past and not for the rapidly changing climate of the future,” Climate Signals notes.

“Our big dams were designed to capture smaller floods than what we expect in the future,” said Daniel Swain, a UCLA climate scientist and lead author of an earlier study on California’s climate-related weather extremes. “We can make some changes on the margins, but these structures were built for a climate that we no longer have.”

Devils Lake Gobbling up farm land

Excerpt from the Crookston Times in Minnesota;

Since 1993, nearby Devils Lake has quadrupled in size, its floodwaters spreading out and swallowing smaller lakes and farmland throughout the region. The lake grew from 44,000 acres to more than 202,000 acres, including those smaller lakes.

But last year, a mini-drought and the expansion of a state-operated outlet system lowered the lake level, bringing new hope to basin farmers as 30,000 to 35,000 acres of farmland resurfaced.

Worst flood in Alberta history: 100,000 displaced, Environment News Service

Record floods in Alberta. Excerpt from ENS report:

10,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the small city of Medicine Hat, Alberta about 300 kilometers (200 miles) to the southeast, where the South Saskatchewan River is predicted to overflow its banks. The peak flow is forecast to occur very early Monday morning.

Floodwaters washed out bridges and roads in Calgary (Photo courtesy City of Calgary)

In Calgary, a Flood Warning remains in effect for the Bow River. The water levels on the Bow and Elbow Rivers were high but consistent throughout the day on Sunday.

The Elbow River downstream of the Glenmore dam crested early Friday. Water levels in both rivers are expected to remain “extremely high” for several days, forecasters warned.

Calgary remains in a state of local emergency. Sections of the downtown remain closed and parts of some neighborhoods are still marked as “red zones” where residents should not try to return home.

Mississippi River stays in check, for now : News

The mighty Mississippi reeks havoc on barges and river commerce comes to standstill. One death reported. Bottomline, sand bags holding back floodwaters and other measures mediate river crest. Here is a smattering of newspaper excerpts about the cresting and its effects on local communities and actions taken by local officials from St Louis Post Dispatch and St Louis Today:

“Mississippi River stays in check, for now.
AmeriCorps volunteers and Missouri National Guardsmen from the 2175th Military Police unit from Hannibal continue to shore up the temporary flood walls along South First and Washington streets in Clarksville on Sunday, April 21, 2013, as the Mississippi River continued to slowly rise. By Tim Logan 314-340-82913…

River towns prepare for rising Mississippi as victims of flash floods clean up…

Rains brought fast-rising water in Jefferson County, Metro East, but slowly rising Mississippi River also looms….

Nixon declares flood emergency, activates Guard. Nixon issued his emergency declaration Friday after strong storms earlier in the week led to flooding…..

Downpours swamp homes in St. Louis metro area, Mississippi River building toward major flood

One woman, died in the flooding, De Soto police said….

The big river didn’t get too big. At least for now. Sandbags held back the cresting Mississippi River from several towns north of St. Louis on Sunday, while the forecast for the immediate vicinity remained high but manageable.

The Pike County hamlet of Clarksville, Mo., where volunteers, National Guard troops and even a few dozen prisoners had spent the last few days stacking sandbags to protect the historic downtown, remained dry, city officials said. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowered its forecast for Clarksville and other northern Missouri towns, suggesting water won’t get any higher.

“It’s going really good today,” said City Clerk Jennifer Calvin. “Everything’s kind of at a standstill, and holding at that level. Now it’s more of a monitoring situation.”

Closer to St. Louis, some roads remained closed and sand-bagging efforts continued in low-lying areas, but the biggest action was on the river itself.

More than 100 barges broke loose of their moorings in south St. Louis County about 10:30 p.m. Four of them hit the Jefferson Barracks Bridge, prompting the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Highway Patrol to shut down all but one lane in each direction while crews inspected it for safety. Nine barges full of coal sank, according to the Coast Guard, though most of the rest had been retrieved by Sunday afternoon.

By late Sunday afternoon, all lanes of traffic had been reopened.”

Quincy Herald-Whig: River expert: ‘Without flood control, nothing else matters’

Having grown up on the Might Mississippi, flood control saves lives and prevents disruptions to transportation and flow of commerce. An excerpt from The Quincy Hearld-Whig reports:

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment met Tuesday to hear testimony on what sponsors hope will be the first reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act since 2007. Panel members got an earful from a variety of speakers representing different waterway interests.

Coastal constituencies asked for greater sand dune establishment to combat storm surges. Spokesmen for U.S. ports and the dredging industry urged the federal government to spend all of the $1.6 billion in cargo fees collected each year on dredging.

River issues came up too, but didn’t get the focused attention proponents wanted. That is expected to change as flooding hits the national news.

“On the Illinois River we expect this to be a flood of record and it’s going to be parallel to about the ’73 flood on the Mississippi,” Klingner said.

A record flood will capture national attention.
Read on…

IJC’s draft plan for extreme water levels is coming soon | Save Our Sodus

Excerpt on future release of extreme water levels for Great Lakes restoration:

Recent lake levels studies suggest that the best way to address the potential for extreme water levels and the uncertainties, including those associated with climate change, is through adaptive management. A draft Adaptive Management Plan for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River System will be released for public review next week. The plan aims to provide a more efficient and cost-effective way to monitor climate trends and support decision-making aimed at reducing the risk to communities, the economy and the environment from extreme water levels.

Your comments on this comprehensive and collaborative draft plan will be invited from March 15-April 15. The International Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Task Team will consider comments received before making final recommendations to the International Joint Commission in May 2013.

Federal funding remains a focus. While levels for 2013 and 2014 are still unknown, expectations are that President Obama and Congress will continue the precedent-setting $1 billion-plus investment in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative over the last three years – dollars slated to clean up past pollution, reduce nutrient loads from agriculture and cities, and prevent invasive species. Many thanks to White House Council of Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley for personally telling the Healing Our Waters coalition that Great Lakes restoration would continue.

For specifics on public comments go to website: