Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Flooding & Dock Damage on Keuka Lake
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
STEUBEN COUNTY (WENY) -- Rushing water and debris from Penn Yan has made its way into Keuka Lake, prompting a boating advisory.
Neighbors around the Finger Lake are starting to clean up after the lake level climbed nearly five inches. It's destroyed a number of docks and flooded basements.
Neighbors say they haven't seen water levels like this since the Flood of 1972.
Joyce Ryan has lived in the area for about 25 years. She says she hasn't seen anything like this since the flood of 1972.
"Boat lifts are going to be damaged, docks are damaged, property is damaged, homes are flooded," said Ryan.
Ryan's basement flooded about 3 inches.
Rising levels on Keuka Lake have plunged docks underwater leaving debris in it's wake.
"The lake just kept rising, Friday morning," explained Ryan. "When I got up, the lake was coming up an inch an hour. It was coming up so fast because all the tributaries were dumping."
Keuka Lake drains into Seneca Lake, but the outlet wasn't clear, so the gate was locked until late Friday.
Dave Kallenborn moved to the area after the flood of '72. He says this is the highest level he's seen the lake since April of 1993.
"If we send five inches of water to Seneca Lake, they might go up an inch, so they can take a lot of water," said Kallenborn. "We've got a lot of water going down there."
A boating advisory has been placed on the lake due to the debris and wake effect high speed boats can have on the surrounding area.
"The amount of wake that occurs from boating can displace a lot of the docks that are either at water level or under water right now, that's going to continue to displace those" said Steuben County Undersheriff Jim Allard. "And with all the damaged boat houses and docks from the ice last Winter that are still under repair, it also creates hazards with those."
Undersheriff Allard says the advisory will be lifted when it's a safe boating environment. They're waiting to see how much rain falls later on in the week and for the lake levels to go down.