Governor Calls on Corps of Engineers to Implement "Advance Measures Assistance" in Response to Flooding Threat on Lake Erie Coast
May 12, 1997
COLUMBUS, OH -- Governor George V. Voinovich has called for assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help minimize the impact of possible flooding on Ohio's Lake Erie coast as lake levels continue to rise.
In a request to the commander of the Corps of Engineers' Buffalo District, the governor asks for implementation of the Corps' "Advance Measures Assistance" program. Through this program, the Corps will provide Ohio with technical support, construct temporary protective measures and supply flood-fighting material and equipment such as sandbags, polyethylene sheeting, pumps, lumber and stone.
"The waters of Lake Erie are approaching record high levels, creating a serious threat to the health, safety and property of citizens in Ohio's shoreline counties," the governor said in his request to the Corps. "Support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through the delivery of advance protective measures, is vital to the protection of Ohio's threatened areas."
Lake Erie is currently more than two feet above average water levels recorded last spring and could soon match the all-time record set in June 1986. Long-range forecasts indicate that the lake will remain high for the next several years.
State officials are concerned that with Lake Erie already so high, a strong storm could push water levels even higher, threatening major flood damage in low-lying coastal areas and along tributary rivers. High lake levels and increased wave action will also accelerate the rate of erosion on many coastal properties.
Governor Voinovich had earlier directed the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) to work with county emergency management agency directors and other local officials along the Lake Erie coast to prepare for flooding and to take steps necessary for flood protection and erosion control. ODNR and OEMA are helping local governments to identify and prioritize areas most at risk and will coordinate with the Corps of Engineers to implement its "Advance Measures Assistance" program.
ODNR has established a toll-free help line to provide information on high water levels, coastal erosion, flood protection, erosion control permit requirements and flood insurance. That number is 1-888-644-6267.
For further information contact Dave Panard or Jim Lynch, ODNR Media Relations, (614) 265-6886, or Nancy Dragani, OEMA Public Information, (614) 799-3795.