By Connor Lynch
HUFFS ISLAND — Allan Moynes, who crops 440 acres just south of Belleville in Prince Edward County, lost 40 acres under water after flooding last year from spring to late summer. The land was under shallow water until August.
The tile-drained land is intact, he said, but he’s concerned about the year to come, with water levels in Lake Ontario already high. It doesn’t help that his land is next to a lake and there is marsh on two other sides.
The only other year he had flooding issues was in 2017. Both 2017 and 2019 had record-breaking precipitation in the Great Lakes Basin but 2017 had something else too.
That was the year that the Canada-U.S. International Joint Commission’s (IJC) Plan 2014 went into effect to adjust water levels to restore “natural variation” in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. In some cases, water outflow was increased to provide relief to Lake Ontario shoreline property owners.
Moynes said that plenty of farmers in his area were affected by higher water levels, including his neighbour Steve Black.
Speaking with Farmers Forum, Black said that his family has been farming 600 acres for 70 years. Last year, about 15 acres were completely under shallow water, he said.
Building a berm to protect his land simply isn’t feasible, he said. “The flooding issue needs to be shared equally.”
On its website the international commission states that “the high water levels (in 2019) were not caused by regulation of outflows or Plan 2014.”
Farmer lost 40 acres to flooding
By Connor Lynch