July 9, 2019 4:57 pm
Updated: July 9, 2019 4:58 pm

Cobourg wants updated flood plan for Lake Ontario after recent flooding

Cobourg council is calling on the federal government and International Joint Commission to develop a new plan for flooding on Lake Ontario. Mark Giunta reports.


Cobourg council is sending a letter to the federal government and International Joint Commission (IJC) to develop a new flood plan for Lake Ontario.

The current IJC standard is Plan 2014, which was implemented in December 2016.

Since then, communities along Lake Ontario have experienced major flooding events in the springs of 2017 and 2019.

READ MORE: Water levels on Lake Ontario in Cobourg rise above 2017 flood level

“The infrastructure along the shoreline was developed with the old plan, 1958DD,” said Adam Bureau, town councillor.

“The new plan the IJC came up with is leaving all of that infrastructure under water.”


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Right now, the water levels remain high along Cobourg’s waterfront.

“We’ve been surprised boating traffic is at normal levels for this time of year,” said Paul Gauthier, manager of marina and waterfront facilities for the Town of Cobourg.

“The biggest impact has been on our shore power.  Some boaters have been disappointed when they arrived that we weren’t able to give them shore power. Most understand it’s out of our control.”

According to a release from the IJC, outflows at Cornwall are at record levels: 10,400 cubic metres per second.

READ MORE: Brighton calls on feds to change how water levels are managed on Lake Ontario

At its meeting on July 5, the IJC board reached a consensus to maintain that current outflow, which is 200 cubic metres per second higher than regulation in Plan 2014.

The IJC says outflows at maximum system capacity for 4 weeks would hasten the recover of Lake Ontario in the short-term.

The IJC has asked the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee to expedite its ongoing review of Plan 2014.

WATCH: (June 21, 2019) Lake Ontario reaches record levels – damage in Cobourg and Brighton

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