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State officials tour damaged lakeshore as leaders brainstorm for permanent solutions

The people touring the Lake Ontario shoreline Monday weren’t just sightseeing. They’re part of the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, or REDI, commission looking to protect the lakefront from the damaging kind of floods seen in two of the past three years.

The state task force is working alongside local leaders to come up with permanent solutions to dealing with high water along the lake. They visited several areas devastated by flooding in 2017, and again this past spring.

Over the next few days, the group will tour five regions along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to get a better sense of what each lakeshore community needs to prevent flooding damage.

Greece was among the stops Monday, along with Webster, Irondequoit, Parma and Hamlin.

Monroe County’s Emergency Manager, Tim Kohlmeier, said, “Monroe County is an epicenter for this issue. We have the most amount of residents in harms way and some of lowest waterfront frontage. We’re trying to give them a feel for what area looks like, so when we go through the planning process, they have a visual representation.”

The constant sounds of pumps working overtime can be heard on Old Edgemere. But the overflow of water from the channel behind Rick Albright’s garage is proof that, sometimes, the pipes underground have trouble keeping up.

“When the road is flooded, the sanitary system gets overloaded and the town of Greece is forced to discharge some water into Long Pond,” Albright said.

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