When a small waterfront community faces the threat of flooding, time is of the essence.

"It takes many, many people to fight this battle," said Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell. 

It can take many hands to achieve the tedious task of sandbagging. That's why Sodus Point is taking all of the help it can get. 

"I've never filled sandbags before," said Wayne County Jail inmate, Camden. "It's a little bit daunting."

  • Lake Ontario’s water level higher than average
  • Nearly 7,000 feet of aquadam prepared
  • Municipalities handing out sandbags ahead of flooding

Community leaders are on a mission to stockpile 40,000 sandbags which will be used to protect lakeshore properties from flooding. This year, prisoners from the Wayne County Jail are lending a hand. 

"We'll run this operation as long as there is a need," said Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts. "Two corrections officers assigned down here with eight inmates, they're all working hard. We'll do 2,000 plus sandbags today."

Two years ago, inmates also helped during the floods. The sheriff says it's a way for them to pay their debt. 

"95 percent of the inmates are released back to the community. They're a fabric of our community," Virts said. "This is a good thing to build self-esteem for them, to show them that good work is appreciated by the community."

Camden will be released from the Wayne County jail later this week and he plans to settle back home in Clyde. But until then, he has a job to finish.

"We're definitely putting our best effort into making sure the sandbags are done right," said Camden. "We're definitely hoping they do a lot for the community and we're excited that were able to help everybody."