New York's Niagra County declares state of emergency over rising Lake Ontario levels

BUFFALO, New York - The sheriff of a county in New York facing emergent flooding issues says if fending off the waters requires using "inmates to fill sandbags, that's what we'll do."

The comment was made during a Niagra County news conference Thursday conducted as part of safety efforts around rising Lake Ontario water levels affecting the shore there.

Top federal, state, and town officials declared a state of emergency there as the rising levels are pushed higher ahead of the weekend.

"This is the worst I've ever seen," Senator Rob Ortt said of the water levels. He added it was expected to get worse and people needed protection.

The county has been monitoring the lake level since last week after boaters were asked to observe a 500-foot no wake zone of the Lake Ontario shore.

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