Wednesday, August 17, 2022

High water, Lake George

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

The water level on Lake George is near flood stage from June rains. It’s made it difficult for boats to get under bridges, and water nears the tops of docks.

“We had several boats pull into our marina who had gone out earlier in the week under the Dunham’s Bay Bridge and could no longer get back to their dock space. One who tried cracked their windshield on the bridge,” said Matt O’Hara, owner of Freedom Boat Club.

Alex Garry said the water at Cleverdale is “very high! Yesterday every wave was coming up onto our docks…hard to keep the boats tied up property, and making the dock very, very slippery!”

A boater wrote on social media, “Lots of debris, be very careful. Had to avoid objects several times over the weekend. Level at Gull Bay as high as I have ever seen it.”

Roger Smith of the Lake George Park Commission told The Chronicle, “Rainfall for June is well above average. We recorded 1.4 inches of rain in Lake George Village, but received reports of up to 3 1/2 inches in the northern basin.

Water was up to the top of the docks earlier this week at Castaway Marina. Reader Robert Morris gave us permission to use his photo.

“That resulted in the lake coming up three inches in 24 hours,” which in turn prompted Mr. Smith to open the hydroelectric floodgates at the LaChute River in Ticonderoga, where the lake drains into Lake Champlain. They were still open as of Tuesday afternoon.

The lake level is monitored at Rogers Rock in the northern basin by the U.S. Geological Survey. Mr. Smith said the level has dropped steadily since last Thursday’s intense thunderstorm.

Flood level is 320.5 feet. Tuesday afternoon at 12:30, the level was 320.02 feet and dropping. It crested at midnight on Friday, June 21, at 320.20 feet.

“Lake George does not drain quickly,” said Warren Snyder, who is retired after 32 years at the National Weather Service in Albany, and has been boating on the lake for more than 20 years. He spoke to The Chronicle as a private citizen.

“Someone at the Lake George Park Commission told me once that draining the lake is like draining a bathtub through a pinhole,” Mr. Snyder said. “By my personal calculations, the most it can drain per day is 1-1/4 inches. It’s a gradual process.”

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